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English translation by THEODORE P. WOLFE 

By Wilhelm Reich 

Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1925. 132 pp. 

Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1927. 206 pp. 

Sexpol Verlag, 1932. 152 pp. 

Sexpol Verlag, 1933. 288 pp. 

2. Auflage, Sexpol Verlag, 1933. 292 pp. 

Sexpol Verlag, 1934. 60 pp. 

Abhandl. zur personellen Sexualokonomie, Nr. 3. Sexpol Verlag, 1935. 61 pp. 

2. Auflage, Sexpol Verlag, 1935. 155 pp. 


2. Auflage, Sexpol Verlag, 1936. 250 pp. 

Abhandl. zur personellen Sexualokonomie, Nr. 4. Sexpol Verlag, 1937. 55 pp. 

Abhandl. zur personellen Sexualokonomie, Nr. 5. Sexpol Verlag. 1937. 50 pp. 


Klinische und experimentelle Berichte, Nr. 6. Sexpol Verlag, 1938. 205 pp. 

Klinische und experimentelle Berichte, Nr. 7. Sexpol Verlag, 1939. 30 pp. 

Orgone Institute Press, 1942. xxxvi + 368 pp. 

Orgone Institute Press, 1945. xxii + 328 pp. 

Orgone Institute Press, 1945. xxvii + 273 pp. 




Third, revised and enlarged edition 
Translated from the German Manuscript 




NEW YORK . 1946 


Die Massenpsychologie des Faschismus 

First Edition, 1933 
Second Edition, 1934 

First English Edition, 1946 







1 . The divergence of ideology and economic situation I 

2. Economic and ideological structure of German society between 1928 and 7 

3. The problem of mass psychology 14 

4. The social function of sexual suppression 19 



1. Fiihrer and mass structure 28 

2. Hitler's origin 30 

3. On the mass psychology of the lower middle classes 33 

4. Family Fixation and nationalistic feeling 40 

5. Nationalistic self-confidence 52 

6. The middle-class adaptation of the industrial workers 60 


1 . Its content 63 

2. The objective and subjective functions of ideology67 

3. Racial purity, blood poisoning, and mysticism 68 





1 . The interest in the church 97 

2. The fight against "Kulturbolschewismus" 102 

3. The appeal to mystical feeling 109 

4. The goal of the cultural revolution in the light of the fascist reaction 118 



1 . The three basic elements of religious feeling 123 

2. The anchoring of religion through sexual anxiety 130 

3. Healthy and neurotic self-confidence 143 



1 . Theory and practice 145 

2. The fight against mysticism to date 146 

3. Sexual happiness versus mysticism 151 

4. The individual eradication of the mystical feeling 153 

5. Objections to sex-economic practice 157 

6. The unpolitical individual 172 


1 . What goes on in the masses of people? 185 

2. The "socialist longing" 192 

3. The "withering away of the state" 203 

4. The program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1919 213 

5. "The introduction of Soviet democracy" 218 

6. The development of the authoritarian state apparatus from rational social 

7. The social function of state capitalism 237 

8. The biosocial functions of work. The problem of "voluntary work 243 


1 . Give responsibility to vitally necessary work! 264 

2. The biological miscalculation in the human struggle for freedom 269 

3. Work democracy versus politics. The natural social forces for the mastery 
of the emotional plague 




Extensive and conscientious therapeutic work on the human character has taught me that, in judging human 
reactions, we have to take into account three different layers of the biopsychic structure. As I have shown in my 
book, CHARACTER- ANALYSIS, these layers are autonomously functioning representations of social development. 
In the superficial layer, the average individual is restrained, polite, compassionate and conscientious. There would 
be no social tragedy of the animal, man, if this superficial layer were in immediate contact with his deep natural 
core. His tragedy is that such is not the case. The superficial layer of social cooperation is not in contact with the 
biological core of the person, but separated from it by a second, intermediary character layer consisting of cruel, 
sadistic, lascivious, predatory and envious impulses. This is the Freudian "unconscious" or "repressed"; in sex- 
economic language, it is the sum total of the "secondary impulses." Orgone biophysics has shown that the 
Freudian unconscious, the antisocial element in the human structure, is a secondary result of the repression of 
primary biological impulses. If one penetrates through this second, perverse and antisocial layer, one arrives 
regularly at a third, the deepest layer, which we call the biological core. In this deepest layer, man, under 
favorable social conditions, is an honest, industrious, cooperative animal capable of love and also of rational 

hatred. In character- analytic work, one cannot penetrate to this deep, promising layer without first eliminating the 
false, sham- social surface. What makes its appearance when this cultivated mask falls away, however, is not 
natural sociality, but the perverse antisocial layer of the character. 

As a result of this unfortunate structure, every natural social or libidinous impulse from the biological core must, 
on its way to action, pass the layer of the perverse secondary impulses where it becomes deflected. This 
deflection changes the originally social [viii] character of the natural impulse into a perverse impulse and thus 
inhibits any natural life manifestation. 

We can now apply our insights into human structure to the social and political field. It is not difficult to see that 
the diverse political and ideological groups in human society correspond to the various layers of human character 
structure. We do, of course, not follow idealistic philosophy in its belief that this human structure is eternal and 
unalterable. After social conditions and changes have formed the original biological needs into the character 
structure, the latter, in the form of ideologies, reproduces the social structure. 

Since the decline of the primitive work-democratic organization, the biological core of man has remained 
without social representation. That which is "natural" in man, which makes him one with the cosmos, has found 
its genuine expression only in the arts, particularly in music and painting. Until now, however, it has remained 
without any essential influence upon the form of human society, if by society is meant not the culture of a small 
rich upper crust but the community of all people. 

In the ethical and social ideals of liberalism we recognize the representation of the superficial layer of the 
character, of self-control and tolerance. The ethics of this liberalism serve to keep down "the beast" in man, the 
second layer, our "secondary impulses," the Freudian "unconscious." The natural sociality of the deepest, nuclear 
layer is alien to the liberal. He deplores the perversion of human character and fights it with ethical norms, but the 
social catastrophes of this century show the inadequacy of this approach. 

All that which is genuinely revolutionary, all genuine art and science stems from the natural biological nucleus. 
Neither the genuine revolutionary nor the artist or scientist has been able thus far to win over and lead masses or, 
if so, to keep them in the realm of the life interests. 

In contradistinction to liberalism, which represents the superficial character layer, and to genuine revolution, 
which repre-[ix]sents the deepest layer, fascism represents essentially the second character layer, that of the 
secondary impulses. 

At the time when this book was originally written, fascism was generally regarded a "political party" which, like 
any other "social group," was an organized representation of a "political idea." According to this concept, the 
fascist party "introduced" fascism by force or by "political manoeuvre." 

Contrary to this concept, my medical experience with individuals from all kinds of social strata, races, 
nationalities and religions showed me that "fascism" is only the politically organized expression of the average 
human character structure, a character structure which has nothing to do with this or that race, nation or party but 
which is general and international. In this characterological sense, "fascism" is the basic emotional attitude of 
man in authoritarian society, with its machine civilization and its mechanistic-mystical view of life. 

It is the mechanistic-mystical character of man in our times which creates fascist parties, and not vice versa. 

Even today, as a result of fallacious political thinking, fascism is still being considered a specific national 
characteristic of the Germans or the Japanese. The stubborn persistence of this fallacy is due to the fear of 
recognizing the truth: fascism is an international phenomenon which permeates all organizations of human 
society in all nations. This conclusion is confirmed by the international events of the past 15 years. 

From this first fallacy all other misinterpretations follow logically. To the detriment of genuine endeavors for 
freedom, fascism is still regarded as the dictatorship of a small reactionary clique. My character- analytic 
experience, however, shows that there is today not a single individual who does not have the elements of fascist 
feeling and thinking in his structure. Fascism as a political movement differs from other reactionary parties in that 
it is supported and championed by masses of people. I am fully conscious of the responsibility involved in such 
statements. I could only wish, in the interest of this battered world, that the [x] working masses had an equal 

realization of their responsibility for fascism. 

One has to distinguish ordinary militarism from fascism. Germany under the Kaiser was militaristic, but not 

Since fascism, always and everywhere, appears as a movement which is supported by the masses of people, it 
also displays all the traits and contradictions present in the average character structure: Fascism is not, as is 
generally believed, a purely reactionary movement; rather, it is a mixture of rebellious emotions and reactionary 
social ideas. 

If, by being revolutionary, one means rational rebellion against intolerable social conditions, if, by being radical, 
one means "going to the root of things," the rational will to improve them, then fascism is never revolutionary. 
True, it may have the aspect of revolutionary emotions. But one would not call that physician revolutionary who 
proceeds against a disease with violent cursing but the other who quietly, courageously and conscientiously 
studies and fights the causes of the disease. Fascist rebelliousness always occurs where fear of the truth turns a 
revolutionary emotion into illusions. 

In its pure form, fascism is the sum total of all irrational reactions of the average human character. To the 
narrow-minded sociologist who lacks the courage to recognize the enormous role played by the irrational in 
human history, the fascist race theory appears as nothing but an imperialistic interest or even a mere "prejudice." 
The violence and the ubiquity of these "race prejudices" show their origin from the irrational part of the human 
character. The race theory is not a creation of fascism. No: fascism is a creation of race hatred and its politically 
organized expression. Correspondingly, there is a German, Italian, Spanish, Anglo-Saxon, Jewish and Arabian 
fascism. The race ideology is a true biopathic character symptom of the orgastically impotent individual. 

The sadistic perverse character of the race ideology is also seen in the attitude toward religion. Fascism, we are 
told, is the [xi] arch-enemy of religion, and a regression to paganism. On the contrary, fascism is the extreme 
expression of religious mysticism. As such it appears in a specific social form. Fascism is based on that religiosity 
which stems from sexual perversion; it changes the masochistic character of the old patriarchal religions into a 
sadistic religion. It takes religion out of the other-world philosophy of suffering and places it in the sadistic 
murder in this world. 

Fascist mentality is the mentality of the subjugated "little man" who craves authority and rebels against it at the 
same time. It is not by accident that all fascist dictators stem from the milieu of the little reactionary man. The 
captains of industry and the feudal militarist make use of this social fact for their own purposes. A mechanistic 
authoritarian civilization only reaps, in the form of fascism, from the little, suppressed man what for hundreds of 
years it has sown in the masses of little, suppressed individuals in the form of mysticism, top-sergeant mentality 
and automatism. This little man has only too well learned the way of the big man and now gives it back, enlarged 
and distorted. The Fascist is the top-sergeant type in the vast army of our sick civilization. One cannot with 
impunity beat the tom-tom of high politics before the little man. The little top-sergeant has outdone the 
imperialistic general in everything: in martial music, in goose-stepping, in giving orders and obeying them, in the 
deadly fear of thinking, in diplomacy, strategy and tactics, in uniformed strutting and in medals. In all these 
things a Kaiser Wilhelm appears as a poor bungler compared with Hitler. When a "proletarian" general covers his 
chest with medals, on both sides, and from the shoulders to the belt, he demonstrates the little man trying to outdo 
the "real" great general. 

One must have thoroughly studied the character of the suppressed little man and must have learned to see things 
as they take place behind the facade, if one is to understand the forces on which fascism is based. 

In the rebellion of the masses of abused people against the empty niceties of a false liberalism (I do not mean 
genuine lib-[xii]eralism and genuine tolerance) the character layer of the secondary impulses was expressed. 

One cannot make the Fascist harmless if, according to the politics of the day, one looks for him only in the 
German or Italian, or the American or the Chinese; if one does not look for him in oneself; if one does not know 
the social institutions which hatch him every day. One can beat fascism only if one meets it objectively and 
practically, with a well-grounded knowledge of the life processes. One cannot equal it in politics, in diplomacy or 

strutting. But it has no answer to practical questions of living, for it sees everything only in the mirror of ideology 
or in the form of the state uniform. When one hears a fascist character of whatever hue preach about the "honor of 
the nation" (instead of the honor of man) or about the "salvation of the sacred family and the race" (instead of the 
society of working individuals), if he lets out a stream of empty slogans, one only has to ask him this: 

"What are you doing to feed the nation, without plundering or killing other nations? What do you, as a 
physician, do against the chronic diseases, or as an educator for the happiness of children, or as an economist for 
the elimination of poverty, or as a social worker for the mothers of too many children, or as a builder for more 
hygienic living conditions? Give us a concrete, practical answer or shut up!" 

Clearly, international fascism will never be vanquished by political manoeuvres. It can only be vanquished by 
the natural organization of work, love and knowledge on an international scale. 

As yet, work, love and knowledge have not the power to determine human existence. More than that, these great 
forces of the positive life principle are not even conscious of their strength, their indispensability and their 
decisive role in the determination of human existence. For this reason, human society, even after the military 
defeat of party fascism, continues to hover at the brink of the abyss. The downfall of our civilization is inevitable 
if those who work, and the natural scientists in all branches of life (not death), and those who give and receive 
natural love, do [xiii] not become conscious, in time, of their gigantic responsibility. 

Will human and social freedom, will self-regulation of our lives and that of our children come about peacefully 
or by force? Nobody can tell. But those who know the living function in the animal, in the newborn or in the true 
worker, be he a mechanic, a researcher or an artist, cease to think in those terms created by party systems. The 
living function cannot "seize power by force," for it would not know what to do with power. Does that mean that 
life will forever be at the mercy of political gangsterdom, that the politicians will forever suck its blood? No, it 
would be wrong to draw this conclusion. 

As a physician, I have to treat diseases, as a researcher I have to disclose unknown facts in nature. If, now, a 
political wind-bag were to try to force me to leave my patients and my microscope, I would not let myself be 
disturbed but would, if necessary, throw him out. Whether or not I have to use force in order to protect my work 
on the living function against intruders does not depend on me or my work but on the intruders' degree of 
impertinence. Let us assume that all those who do work on the living function were able to recognize the political 
wind-bag in time. They would act in the same way. Perhaps this over-simplified example gives a partial answer to 
the question as to how the living function, sooner or later, will defend itself against its intruders and destroyers. 

The MASSENPSYCHOLOGIE DES FASCHISMUS took shape during the years of the German crisis of 1930 to 
1933. It was written in 1933. The first edition appeared in September 1933 and the second in April 1934 in 

Over ten years have passed since. The elucidation of the nature of the fascist ideology met with much approval, 
an approval which only too often was merely enthusiastic because neither did it spring from knowledge nor did it 
lead to action. The book was smuggled across the German border in great numbers, often under disguise, and was 
enthusiastically received by the illegal [xiv] revolutionary movement in Germany. The Fascists banned it in 1935, 
together with all our publications on political psychology. 1 Parts of it were reprinted in France, America, 
Czechoslovakia, Scandinavia, and other countries, and it was extensively reviewed and discussed. It was only the 
economistic party Socialists and the paid party officials who never were able to make anything of it. The 
Communist parties in Denmark and Norway, for example, fought it violently and branded it as "counter- 
revolutionary." On the other hand, it was characteristic that youths with a revolutionary feeling, though members 
of fascist organizations, understood and appreciated the sex-economic elucidation of the irrational race theory. 

In 1942, the suggestion came from England to translate the book into English. Thus I was confronted with the 
task of examining the book, ten years after its publication, as to its validity. The result of this examination reflects 

the tremendous changes in thought which have taken place during the past decade. It was also the touchstone for 
the correctness of sex-economic sociology and its applicability to the social revolutions of our century. Thus, 
when I started out to correct and expand the book which I had not looked at for years, I experienced vividly the 
errors in thinking of fifteen years ago, the revolutions in thinking which 

1 The following decrees were published in the Deutsches Reichsgesetzblatt: No. 213 13. April 1935 

Auf Grund der VO vom 4.2.33 werden die Druckschriften "Was ist Klassenbewusstsein" von Ernst Parell, "Dialektischer Materialismus und Psychoanalyse" 
von Wilhelm Reich, Nr. 1 und 2 der politisch-psychologischen Schriftenreihe des Verlages fur Sexualpolitik, Kopenhagen-Prag-Ziirich, sowie alle iibrigen in 
der gleichen Schriftenreihe noch erscheinenden Druckschriften fur Preussen polizeilich beschlagnahmt und eingezogen, da sie geeignet sind, die offentliche 
Sicherheit und Ordnung zu gefahrden. 

41230/35 II 2 B 1. Berlin, 9.4.35 

No. 2146 7.Mai 1935 

Auf Grund der VO des Reichsprasidenten vom 28.2.33 wurde die Verbreitung aller auslandischen Druckschriften der politisch-psychologischen 
Schriftenreihe der Sex.Pol. (Verlag fiir Sexualpolitik, Kopenhagen, Danemark, auch Prag. Tschechoslowakei. und Zurich, Schweiz) im Inland bis auf weiteres 

HIP 3952/53 Berlin, 6.5.35 

[xv] had taken place since then, and the magnitude of the tasks with which science is confronted in overcoming 

To begin with, I had good reason to be gratified. The sex-economic analysis of fascist ideology not only stood 
the test of time, but, more than that, the past ten years confirmed it in all essential points. It survived the decline 
of the economistic concepts with which the German Marxist parties had tried to master fascism. It means 
something that, ten years after its publication, there is a new demand for the book. This is more than any Marxist 
publication of ten years ago, whose authors had condemned sex-economy, can say for itself. 

The revolutions in thinking which had taken place since the publication of the second edition in 1934 expressed 
themselves as follows: 

Around 1930 I had not even an inkling yet of the natural work-democratic relationships between working 
people. The then young sex-economic insights into human structure formation were put into the framework of the 
thinking of the Marxist parties. At that time I was working in liberal, Socialist, and Communist cultural 
organizations, and in my presentation of sex-economy I was forced to use the current Marxist sociological 
slogans. The tremendous gap between sex-economic sociology and vulgar economism made itself felt even then 
in many painful disputes with various party officials. But since I still believed in the basically scientific nature of 
the Marxist parties, there was one thing I could not understand: why the party people fought the social effects of 
my medical work particularly violently just when masses of employees, industrial workers, small businessmen, 
students, etc., were coming with a thirst for knowledge about life to the organizations with a sex-economic 
orientation. I shall never forget the "Red Professor" who in 1928 was sent from Moscow to one of my addresses 
to students, in order to defend the "party line" against me. This man declared, among other things, that "the 
Oedipus complex is nonsense," that there isn't any such thing. Fourteen years later, his Russian comrades were 
being killed by the hordes of Fiihrer-subservient machine men. 

[xvi] Really one would have expected that parties which pretended to be fighting for human freedom would 
have welcomed my political-psychological work. As the archives of our Institute prove abundantly, the exact 
opposite was the case. The greater the social effects of the mass-psychological work, the more violent were the 
counter-measures of the party politicians. As early as 1932, the Socialist as well as the Communist organizations, 
over the vigorous protest of their own members, prohibited the distribution of the works published by the Verlag 
fiir Sexualpolitik, then in Berlin. I was threatened with execution as soon as Marxism should gain power in 
Germany. In 1932, against the explicit wish of their members, the Communist organizations in Germany banned 
sex-economic physicians from their meetings, as the Social Democrats in Austria had done as early as 1929 and 
1930. 1 was expelled from both organizations because I introduced sexology into sociology and pointed out its 

implications for human structure formation. Between 1934 and 1937, it was again and again the officials of the 
Communist parties who reminded the fascist circles in Europe of the "dangerousness" of sex-economy. The sex- 
economic publications were turned back at the Soviet Russian border as were the masses of fugitives who tried to 
escape German fascism. These are facts which cannot be countered by any argument. 

These happenings, which at the time of their occurrence seemed absolutely senseless, became entirely 
understandable when, recently, I revised this book. The sex-economic psychological and biological findings had 
been put into the terminology of vulgar Marxism like a square peg into a round hole. When, in 1938, 1 revised my 
book, DER SEXUELLE KAMPF DER JUGEND, I had found that every word pertaining to sex-economy was as valid 
as eight years previously, while every party slogan which had found its way into the book had become 
meaningless. The same is true of the present book. 

Today it has become absolutely clear that fascism is not the deed of a Hitler or Mussolini, but the expression of 
the irrational structure of the mass individual. Today it is clearer than ten years [xvii] ago that the race theory is 
biological mysticism. Today, one is closer to an understanding of the orgastic longing as a mass phenomenon 
than ten years ago; there is more of a general inkling of the fact that fascist mysticism is orgastic longing under 
the conditions of mystification and inhibition of natural sexuality. The sex-economic statements in the book 
showed themselves to be as true as ten years ago, and to be further confirmed by the experiences of the past ten 
years. The Marxist party slogans in the book, on the other hand, were all shown to be erroneous; they all had to be 

Does that mean that the economic theory of Marxism is fundamentally wrong? I should like to clarify this 
question by an illustration. Is the microscope of Pasteur's time, or Leonardo da Vinci's water pump "wrong"? 
Marxism is a scientific economic theory which stems from the social conditions of the early 19th century. 
However, the social process did not stand still, but developed into the fundamentally different process of the 20th 
century. In this new social process, it is true, we find all the basic elements of the 19th century, just as in the 
modern microscope we find the basic structure of that of Pasteur, and in the modern plumbing system the basic 
principle of Leonardo's pump. But one like the other would be of no use to us today. They have been surpassed by 
fundamentally new processes and functions which correspond to fundamentally new concepts and techniques. 
The Marxist parties in Europe failed and declined because they tried to comprehend fascism of the 20th century, a 
fundamentally new phenomenon, with concepts belonging to the 19th century. They declined as social 
organizations because they failed to keep alive the developmental possibilities inherent in any scientific theory. I 
do not regret my many years' work as a physician in Marxist organizations. I owe my sociological knowledge not 
to books, but primarily to the practical experience of the struggles on the part of the masses for a decent, free 
existence. The best sex-economic insights, in fact, were gained as a result of the errors in thinking on the part of 
the masses, the errors which brought them the fascist pestilence. To me as a physician, the working individual 
with his [xviii] everyday concerns was accessible in a way he never is to a party politician. The party politician 
saw only the "worker's class" which he was going to "fill with class consciousness." I saw the living being, man, 
as he was living under social conditions of the worst kind, conditions which he had created himself, which, 
characterologically anchored, he carried within him and from which he tried in vain to free himself. The chasm 
between economistic and bio-sociological conception became unbridgeable. The theory of the "class individual" 
became replaced by the knowledge of the irrational nature of the society formed by the animal, man. 

Today everyone knows that the economic concepts of Marx have permeated modern thinking, even though a 
great many economists and sociologists are not aware of the origin of their views. Such concepts as "class," 
"profit," "exploitation," "class struggle," "commodity," "surplus value," etc., have become common property. On 
the other hand, there does not exist today any party which could claim to be the heir and the true advocate of the 
scientific achievements of Marx when it comes to facts of social development instead of mere slogans which are 
no longer in keeping with the facts. 

Between 1937 and 1939 there developed among the workers in the field of sex-economy in Scandinavia and 
Holland the new concept of work democracy. The present edition contains a presentation of the essence of this 

new sociological concept. It comprises the best and still valid sociological findings of Marxism. At the same time, 
it takes into account the social changes which the "worker" has undergone during the past hundred years. I know 
from experience that it will be exactly the "legitimate representatives of the workers," the past and the coming 
"leaders of the international proletariat" who will fight this extension of the concept of the worker, by calling it 
"fascist," "Trotskyist," "counter-revolutionary," etc. But organizations of workers which, for example, 
discriminate against or exclude Negroes and thus practice Hitlerism, have no claim to be considered organizations 
fighting for a better and freer society. Hitlerism is not confined to Germany; it permeates workers' organizations 
and all kinds of [xix] liberal and democratic circles. Fascism is not a political party but a specific Weltanschauung 
and a specific attitude toward people, toward love and work. The politics of the prewar Marxist parties has no 
future. Just as the concept of the sexual energy perished within the psychoanalytic organization and arose anew, 
young and vigorous, from the discovery of the orgone, so did the concept of the international worker perish in the 
Marxist party doings and arise anew in the framework of sex-economic sociology. For the activities of the sex- 
economist are possible only in the framework of all other socially necessary work, and not in the framework of a 
reactionary, mystical and non-working life. 

Sex-economic sociology was born out of the attempts to harmonize the depth psychology of Freud with the 
economic theory of Marx. 1 Human existence is determined by instinctual and socio-economic processes. But we 
must refute any eclectic attempts at an arbitrary combination of "instinct" and "economy." Sex-economic 
sociology dissolves that fateful contradiction which made psychoanalysis forget the social factor and made 
Marxism forget the animal origin of man. As I once put it, psychoanalysis is the father and sociology the mother 
of sex-economy. But a child is more than the sum of its parents. It is a new, independent being with a future of its 

In accord with the new, sex-economic concept of "work," the following changes in terminology were made in 
the process of revising this book. The concepts "communistic," "socialistic," "class-conscious" were replaced by 
such sociologically and psychologically unequivocal terms as "revolutionary" and "scientific." What they mean is 
"radically changing things," "rationally active," "going to the roots of things." 

The change in terminology takes into account an important fact: today it is no longer the Communist and 
Socialist parties but, in opposition to them, many unpolitical people and groups of people of all shades of political 
opinion who are developing more and more a revolutionary attitude, who, in other words, are 

1 Cf. Reich, Wilhelm: "The 'living productive power, working power' of Karl Marx." Internal J. of Sex-economy and Orgone-Research 3, 1944, 151 ff. 

[xx] striving for a basically new, rational social order. There is a rather general awareness of the fact that the 
world, in its fight against the fascist pestilence, has entered a phase of a gigantic international revolution. The 
concept "proletarian" was coined more than a hundred years ago to connote a stratum of society which was 
deprived of all rights. True, there are still such groups, but the great-grandchildren of the proletarians of the 19th 
century have developed into specialized, technically trained industrial workers who are socially responsible and 
conscious of their skills. The term "class consciousness" has to be replaced by "work consciousness" or "social 
responsibility. " 

In the Marxism of the 19th century, "class consciousness" was limited to the manual workers. The other 
working people in vitally necessary professions, without which society could not function, were distinguished 
from this "proletariat" as "intellectuals" and "petit-bourgeois." This schematic and obsolete distinction was a 
major contributing factor in the victory of fascism in Germany. The concept of "class consciousness" is not only 
too narrow; it does not even correspond to the structure of the class of manual workers. "Industrial work" and 
"proletarian" are, therefore, replaced by the concepts of "vitally necessary work" and the "working individual" 
These two concepts comprise all who do socially vital work, that is, in addition to the industrial workers, the 
physicians, teachers, technicians, laboratory workers, writers, social administrators, farmers, scientific workers, 
etc. This eliminates a chasm which has done much to disrupt working human society and thus has contributed to 

fascism, be it the black or the red variety. 

Marxist sociology, out of its ignorance of mass psychology, contrasted the "bourgeois" with the "proletarian." 
This is erroneous. A certain character structure is not limited to the capitalist, but pervades the working people in 
all professions. There are revolutionary capitalists and reactionary workers. There are no characterological class 
distinctions in the biophysical depth of human structure. The fascist pestilence makes it clear that the [xxi] 
economistic concepts of "bourgeoisie" and "proletariat" have to be replaced by the characterological concepts of 
"reactionary" and "revolutionary" 

Dialectic materialism as outlined by Engels in his ANTI-DUHRING developed into biophysical functionalism. 
This development was made possible by the discovery of the biological energy, the orgone (1936-1939). 
Sociology and psychology were put on a solid biological foundation. Such a development cannot remain without 
influence on thought. As thinking develops, old concepts change and new concepts take the place of obsolete 
ones. The Marxist "consciousness" was replaced by "dynamic structure," "needs" by "orgonotic instinctual 
processes," "tradition" by "biological and characterological rigidity," etc. 

The vulgar-Marxist concept of "private enterprise" was irrationally misinterpreted to mean that the revolutionary 
development of society would bring about the abolition of all private property. Of course, the political reaction 
made capital of this misinterpretation. As a matter of fact, the development of social and individual freedom has 
nothing to do with the so-called "abolition of private property." The Marxist concept of private property did not 
pertain to people's shirts, pants, typewriters, toilet paper, books, beds, savings, residences or plots of land. It 
referred, exclusively, to the private possession of the social means of production which determine the social 
process, such as railroads, power plants, mines, etc. The "socialization of the means of production" became a 
bogey because it was confused with the "expropriation of private property" such as chickens, shirts, books, 
residences, etc. During the past hundred years, socialization of the means of production has reduced their private 
ownership in all capitalistic countries, in varying degrees. 

Because the structure and the incapacity for freedom of the working people made them unable to adapt to the 
tremendous development of the social organizations, it came to pass that the "state" exercised functions which 
properly would have been those of the "society" of the working people. In Soviet Russia, the [xxii] alleged 
acropolis of Marxism, there is no trace of a "socialization of the means of production." The Marxist parties had 
failed to distinguish "socialization" from "nationalization." The present war has shown that the American 
government, e.g., has the right and the means to nationalize poorly functioning industrial plants. A socialization 
of the means of production, their transfer from the private ownership of individuals to society is a much less 
frightening concept if one begins to realize that today, as a result of the war, there are in the capitalist countries 
only few independent private owners left while there are a great many collective owners responsible to the 
government; and if one further realizes that in Soviet Russia the state factories are in no way at the disposal of the 
workers, but of groups of government officials. The socialization of the means of production will not be possible 
until the masses of the working people become structurally capable of administering it, that is, not until they are 
conscious of their responsibility. Today, this is not true of the majority of them. Furthermore, a socialization of 
large enterprises in the sense that the administration would be entirely in the hands of the manual workers, with 
the exclusion of the technicians, engineers, managers, etc., would be sociologically and economically senseless. 
Today, not even the manual workers themselves would entertain such an idea. If that were not so, the Marxist 
parties would have long since come into power everywhere. 

This is the main sociological reason why the private economy of the 19th century changes everywhere to an 
increasing degree into a state-capitalistic economy. In the strictly Marxist sense, there is not even in Soviet Russia 
a state socialism but a state capitalism. According to Marx, the social condition "capitalism" does not consist in 
the existence of individual capitalists, but in the existence of the specific "capitalist mode of production," that is, 
in the production of exchange values instead of use values, in wage work of the masses and in the production of 
surplus value, which is appropriated by the state or the private owners, and not by the society of the working 
people. In this strictly Marxist [xxiii] sense, the capitalistic system continues to exist in Russia. And it will 

continue to exist as long as the masses of people continue to lack responsibility and to crave authority. 

Sex-economic structural psychology adds the characterological and biological to the purely economic 
comprehension of society. The elimination of individual capitalists and the replacement of private capitalism by 
state capitalism in Russia has not in the least altered the typical helpless and authoritarian character structure of 
the masses of people. 

Furthermore, the political ideology of the European Marxist parties operated with purely economic conditions 
characteristic of a span of about two hundred years of mechanical development from the end of the 17th to the 
19th century. Fascism of the 20th century, on the other hand, threw into focus the basic questions of the human 
character, of mysticism and the craving for authority, problems pertaining to a span of 4-6000 years. Here also, 
vulgar Marxism tried to put a square peg into a round hole. Sex-economic sociology deals with a human structure 
which did not develop during the past two hundred years, but which reflects a patriarchal-authoritarian 
civilization of thousands of years' standing. More than that, it asserts that the excesses of the capitalist era of the 
past three hundred years (predatory imperialism, exploitation of workers, racial suppression, etc.) would not have 
been possible at all without that typical structure of the masses which is expressed in their longing for authority, 
their mysticism and their incapacity for freedom. The fact that this structure is not naturally given but produced 
by social and educational factors does not change its effects but points to the possibility that it can be changed. 
Thus, the standpoint of sex-economic biophysics is, in the best and strictest sense of the word, infinitely more 
radical than that of the vulgar Marxists, if by being radical one means "going to the root of things." 

From all this it is obvious that the fascist mass pestilence, with its background of thousands of years, cannot be 
mastered with social measures corresponding to the past three hundred years. 

[xxiv] The discovery of the natural biological work democracy in international human intercourse is the answer 
to fascism. This will be no less true even if not one of the living sex-economists, orgone biophysicists or work 
democrats should live to see its general functioning and its victory over the irrationalism in social life. 


August 1945 


The German revolutionary movement before Hitler was based on the economic and social theory of Karl Marx; 
an understanding of German fascism, therefore, presupposes an understanding of Marxism. 

Shortly after National Socialism came to power in Germany, doubts about the correctness of the Marxist 
concepts of the social process were voiced even by people who for many years had actively proved their 
revolutionary convictions. These doubts were caused by a fact which, though at first unintelligible, was 
nonetheless beyond doubt: fascism, the most extreme exponent of political and economic reaction, had become an 
international phenomenon and in many countries had clearly gained the upper-hand over the socialist 
revolutionary movement. The problem was accentuated by the fact that this phenomenon was most pronounced in 
the highly industrialized countries. The international growth of nationalism was accompanied by a failure of the 
workers' movement; this during a phase of modern history which the Marxists called "economically ready for an 
overthrow of the capitalist mode of production." In addition to this failure, there was the burning memory of the 
failure of the Workers' International at the beginning of the first world war and of the revolutionary movement 
outside of Russia between 1918 and 1923. Thus the doubts about the correctness of the Marxian theories seemed 

to be supported by weighty facts. Now, if the basic Marxian concepts were indeed erroneous, then the workers' 
movement needed a thorough reorientation. If, on the other hand, these doubts were unfounded, if the basic 
Marxian concepts of sociology were correct, then, a thorough analysis of the continuous failures of the [2] 
workers' movement was needed, and, even more than that, an elucidation of the new mass movement of fascism. 
Only this could lead to a new revolutionary policy. 

Certainly, no change for the better could be expected unless this were done. It was perfectly clear that neither 
appeals to a "revolutionary class consciousness" nor the then fashionable method of denying failures and of 
camouflaging important facts with illusions could lead anywhere. One could not be content with the fact that the 
workers' movement also "progressed" here and there. For the decisive factor is not that progress is being made, 
but how much progress is being made in relation to the international progress of political reaction. 

The young movement of work-democratic sex-economy is interested in a thorough clarification of these 
questions not only because it is a part of the fight for social freedom in general, but chiefly because the attainment 
of its goals is inextricably linked with the attainment of the economic goal of natural work democracy. We shall, 
therefore, use the workers' movement as an illustration of the interlacing of the special sex-economic problems 
with the general social problems. 

In many German meetings around 1930 revolutionaries, such as Otto Strasser, who were intelligent and honest 
though their thinking was somewhat nationalistic and mystical, would say to the Marxists: "You Marxists always 
point to the theories of Marx. Marx taught that theory is confirmed only in practice. But you always come up with 
explanations for the defeats of the Workers' International. Your Marxism has failed. The defeat in 1914 you 
explain with the 'defection of the Social Democrats,' that of 1918 with their politics of betrayal.' And now you 
have new 'explanations' for the fact that in the present world crisis the masses turn to the right instead of the left. 
But your explanations do not alter the fact of these defeats! Where, in the past eighty years, has there been any 
confirmation of the social revolution by practical action? Your basic error is that you deny or ridicule the mind 
which moves everything, instead of comprehending it." These were the arguments of many revolutionaries, and 
the Marxists [3] had no answer to them. It became increasingly clear that their political mass propaganda did not 
reach anybody except those who already belonged to the left front, simply because this propaganda referred to 
nothing but the objective socio-economic processes (capitalist production, economic anarchy, etc.). The 
elaboration of material needs, of hunger alone, was not sufficient, for that was done by every political party, even 
the church. Thus, when the economic crisis was most acute, the mysticism of National Socialism defeated the 
economic theories of Socialism. It was evident that there was a wide gap in the propaganda and in the total 
conception of socialism, a gap which was responsible for its "political mistakes." It was a defect in the Marxist 
comprehension of political reality. True, the method of dialectic materialism had provided the means for 
correcting this defect, but they had not been utilized. In brief, Marxist politics had not included in its political 
practice the character structure of the masses and the social significance of mysticism. 

If one followed and actually experienced the theory and practice of Marxism on the revolutionary left front 
between 1917 and 1933, one found that it was limited to the objective economic processes and to state politics. 
The so-called "subjective factor" in history, the ideology of the masses, its development and contradictions, were 
not even considered, let alone understood. The Marxists failed to apply their own method of dialectic materialism, 
to keep it alive, and to use it to comprehend every new social phenomenon. 

That is, the method of dialectic materialism was not applied to new historical phenomena. But fascism was such 
a phenomena, a phenomenon which was still completely unknown to Marx and Engels and of which Lenin was 
aware only in its very beginning. The reactionary comprehension of reality by-passes its contradictions and actual 
conditions; reactionary politics automatically makes use of those social forces which are against development; it 
can do that only as long as science does not uncover all the revolutionary forces which of necessity must 
overcome the reactionary forces. As we shall see later, the mass basis of [4] fascism, the rebelling lower middle 
classes, contained not only reactionary but also powerful progressive social forces. This contradiction was 
overlooked; more than that, the role of the lower middle classes, up to the time of Hitler's coming into power, 

remained entirely in the background. 

Revolutionary practice in any field of human existence develops by itself if one comprehends the contradictions 
in every new process; it consists in siding with those forces which act in the direction of progressive 
development. To be radical, according to Marx, means "going to the root of things." If one goes to the root of 
things, if one understands their contradictory character, the means of mastering the reaction become plain. If one 
does not understand them, one lands inevitably in mechanism, economism or metaphysics. Any criticism, 
therefore, is justified and of practical value only if it can demonstrate what contradictions in social reality are 
overlooked. The revolutionary achievement of Marx did not consist in writing proclamations or pointing to 
revolutionary goals, but in recognizing the industrial productive powers as the progressive social force, and in 
realistically describing the contradictions in capitalist economy. The failure of the workers' movement can mean 
only that those forces which hinder social development are still incompletely comprehended. 

Like the works of many great thinkers, Marx's ideas were debased to empty slogans; they lost, in the hands of 
the Marxist politicians, their scientific revolutionary content. The politicians were so engrossed in everyday 
political struggles that they were unable to develop the principles of a live concept of social functioning as 
handed down by Marx and Engels. One has only to compare the books of, say, Sauerland, Salkind or Pieck with 
any of Marx or Engels to realize that functional methods turned into formulae, scientific research into rigid 
schemata. The "proletariat" of Marx's time had developed, in the meantime, into a gigantic industrial workers' 
class, the small tradespeople of the middle classes into masses of industrial and government employees. Scientific 
Marxism degenerated into "vulgar Marxism." This is the [5] term which many excellent Marxist politicians 
applied to economism, that concept which reduced all human existence to the problem of unemployment and 
wage rates. 

This vulgar Marxism contended that an economic crisis of the magnitude of that between 1929 and 1933 must of 
necessity lead to the development of a Leftist ideology in the masses. Even after the defeat in January 1933 its 
representatives continued to talk of a "revolutionary upsurge." In reality, the economic crisis had — contrary to 
their expectations — led to an extreme development of a reactionary ideology in the masses. There was a 
divergence between the development of the economic base, which was pressing to the Left, and the development 
of the ideology of the masses, which was to the Right. This divergence was overlooked. Thus, no one even raised 
the question of how it was possible that the masses, at a time of pauperization, could become nationalistic. No 
slogans such as "chauvinism," "psychosis," "result of Versailles" comprehend this tendency of the middle classes 
to turn reactionary at such times. In addition, it was not only the middle classes, but large numbers of the 
industrial workers who turned to the Right. The fact was overlooked that the bourgeoisie, warned by the success 
of the Russian revolution, took new preventive measures (such as the New Deal); measures which were not 
understood and which the workers were unable to analyze. The further fact was overlooked that early fascism was 
directed against big business and could not be done away with as "only a. vanguard of the money magnates"; if for 
no other reason, because it was a mass movement. 

Wherein lay the problem? 

Marx comprehended the exploitation of the commodity "working power" and the concentration of capital in a 
few hands, phenomena which go hand in hand with the increasing misery of the majority of working humanity. 
From this, Marx inferred the inevitability of the "expropriation of the expropriators." According to this concept, 
the social forces of production in capitalist society burst asunder the framework of production. The conflict 
between [6] social production and private appropriation of the products by capital can be solved only by an 
adaptation of the ways of production to the productive powers. Social production must be supplemented by social 
appropriation of the products. The first act of this adaptation is the social revolution; this is the basic economic 
principle of Marxism. This adaptation, it was said, can take place only through the "dictatorship of the 
proletariat"; the pauperized majority of the working people has to assume power over the minority of the owners 
of the means of production which are to be taken away from them. 

The economic prerequisites of the social revolution were given, as laid down in the theory of Marx: capital was 

concentrated in the hands of a few. The development of a world economy was sharply contradicted by the tariff 
system of national states; capitalist economy attained hardly half of production capacity and it had clearly shown 
its anarchic character. The majority of the working population of highly industrialized countries lived in misery; 
about fifty million people were unemployed in Europe alone; hundreds of millions of working individuals lived 
on a starvation level. But the "expropriation of the expropriators" failed to materialize and, contrary to 
expectations, at the crossroads between "socialism and barbarism," the development was in the direction of 
barbarism. That is, there was an international growth of fascism and a corresponding weakening of the workers' 
movement. Those who still hoped that the coming second world war would, with certainty, have a revolutionary 
outcome, those who, in other words, depended on the masses to turn the weapons they were going to get against 
the inner enemy, had not followed the development of the new war techniques. It did not seem unlikely that in the 
next war an arming of the masses would not take place, and that military measures would be taken against the 
unarmed masses in the large industrial centers, executed by a few selected and dependable war technicians. 
Therefore, a re- orientation in thinking was a necessary prerequisite for a new revolutionary practice. The second 
world war confirmed these expectations. 

From a rational point of view, one would expect the pauperized masses of workers to develop a sharp 
consciousness of their social situation, to develop a will to eliminate their social misery. Similarly, one should 
expect the working individual to rebel against his social misery; one would expect him to say to himself: "I am a 
responsible worker. It is on me and people like myself that the weal and woe of society depend. I assume myself 
the responsibility for the work." In that case, the thinking (the "consciousness") of the worker would be consistent 
with his social situation. The Marxists called this "class consciousness." We shall call it "professional 
consciousness" or "consciousness of social responsibility." The divergence between the social position of the 
working masses on the one hand and their consciousness of it on the other hand means that the working masses, 
instead of improving their social situation, worsen it. It was exactly the pauperized masses who carried fascism, 
the ultimate in political reaction, to power. 

The problem here is that of the role of ideology, the emotional attitude of the masses as a historical factor, the 
"retroaction of the ideology on the economic base." If the economic misery of broad masses of people did not 
lead to revolutionary tendencies in the sense of the social revolution; if, on the contrary, the economic crisis led to 
ideologies which were contrary to rational revolutionary thinking; then, in Marxist terms, the ideological 
development of the masses in these critical years inhibited the "unfolding of the forces of production" and 
blocked the "revolutionary solution of the conflict between the productive forces of monopolistic capitalism and 
its methods of production." 

The class structure in Germany reveals the following picture: 1 

1 According to Kunik: "Versuch einer Feststellung der sozialen Gliederung der deutschen Bevolkerung," Die Internationale 1928, compiled by Lenz: 
"Proletarische Politik," Internationaler Arbeiterverlag, 1931. 




Industrial workers 2 
Urban middle classes 



(in millions) 


Small farmers 6,598 9.0 

Bourgeoisie (including land 
owners and large farm- 
ers) 718 2.0 

34,762 62.4 

Strata of the urban middle classes: in thousands 

Lower strata of persons in small enterprises (home 
industries, tenant farms, workshops with less than 

3 employees) 1,916 
Employees in small industries with 3 or more em- 
ployees 1,403 
Higher employees and officials 1 ,763 
Professional people and students 431 
Small investors 644 


Workers' strata: 

Workers in industry, transportation, business, etc. 1 1,826 

Agricultural workers 2,607 

Home workers 138 

Domestic servants 1,326 

Recipients of social security benefits 1,717 

Employees (earning less than 250 marks per month) 2,775 

Minor officials (including pensioners) 1,400 


Middle strata in agriculture: 
Small farmers and tenants (with less than 12 acres 

of land) 2,366 

Farmers with 12 to 120 acres 4,232 


These figures are taken from the German census of 1925. It has 

2 Called "Proletarians" by the Marxists. 

[9] to be remembered that they reflect the socio-economic and not the ideological strata, which were quite 
different. Socio-economically, then, Germany in 1925 comprised: 

Earning With family 

population members 

Workers 21 ' ?89 

millions 40.7 millions 


Middle classes ir> _ 

millions 19. 7 millions 

The ideological structure, however, was, according to a rough calculation, the following: 

Workers (in industry, business, 
transportation, agri- 
culture, etc.) 


Middle classes 


Despite middle class votes for Leftist parties and workers' votes for Rightist parties, it is striking that the election 
returns of 1932 correspond to the ideological stratification of 1925: Communists and Social Democrats together 
had between twelve and thirteen million votes, the NSDAP and the German Nationalists together between 
nineteen and twenty million. This means that in terms of practical politics, not the economic but the ideological 
stratification was the decisive factor. The political role of the lower middle classes was much more important 
than had been assumed. 

It was during the rapid decline of German economy between 1929 and 1932 that the NSDAP gained by leaps 
and bounds: from 800,000 votes in 1928 to 6,400,000 in the fall of 1930; 13,000,-000 in the summer of 1932; and 
17,000,000 in January 1933. According to Jager {Roter Aufbau, October 1930) the 6,400,000 National Socialist 
votes in 1930 already contained the votes of about 3,000,000 working people; of these, about sixty to seventy per 
cent were employees and thirty to forty per cent industrial workers. 

The problem expressed in this sociological process was, as far as I know, most clearly comprehended by Karl 
Radek, who wrote after the first upsurge of the NSDAP {Roter Aufbau, October 1930): 

Nothing like it is known in the history of politics, particularly in a country with age-old political differentiations where every new 
party [10] must put up a hard struggle to exist alongside the old established ones. Nothing is more significant than the fact that 
nothing was said, in the conservative as well as the Socialist literature, about this party which now occupies the next but first place in 
German political life. It is a party without a history which arises suddenly in German political life as an island suddenly appears in 
the middle of the ocean due to volcanic forces. 

We cannot doubt the fact that this island has its history and inner logic. 

The outcome of the Marxist alternative, "Sinking back into barbarism" or "Advance to socialism" is determined 
by whether the ideological structure of the ruled masses coincides with their economic position or diverges from 
it; be it in the form of passive submission to exploitation as in the Asiatic societies or in the form of a contrary 
development of the ideology of the suppressed and their economic position as is the case in the Germany of 

The basic problem then is, what causes this divergence between economic position and psychological mass 
structure? We have to comprehend the essence of the mass-psychological structure and its relation to the 
economic base from which it derived. In order to do this, we have to rid ourselves, first of all, of those concepts of 
vulgar Marxism which bar the way to a comprehension of fascism. They are, essentially, the following: 

Vulgar Marxism schematically separates economic existence from social existence as a whole and contends that 
human "ideology" and "consciousness" are immediately and exclusively determined by the economic conditions. 
In doing so, it arrives at a mechanistic antithesis of economy and ideology, of "base" and "superstructure." It 
considers ideology dependent, schematically and one-sidedly, on economic conditions, and overlooks the 
dependence of economic development on ideology. For this reason, the problem of the "retroaction of the 
ideology on the economic base" remains inaccessible to vulgar Marxism. True, it speaks of the "lag of the 
subjective factor" in the sense of Lenin, but it cannot do anything about it practically, for the following reason: it 
explains this lag one-sidedly from the standpoint of the [11] economic situation, without looking to ideology for 
the explanation of contradictions in the economy, and without comprehending ideology as a historical force. 

In fact, vulgar Marxism militates against a comprehension of the structure and the dynamics of ideology, by 
brushing it aside as "psychology" which is called "non-Marxist." It leaves the problem of the subjective factor in 
history, the so-called "psychic life," to the metaphysical idealism of political reaction, to a Gentile and a 
Rosenberg, the people who claim that the "spirit" and the "soul" alone make history and who have the greatest 
success with their claims. 

The neglect of this aspect of sociology was pointed out by Marx himself in his criticism of 18th century 
materialism. The vulgar Marxist considers psychology in itself as a metaphysical system. He neglects to separate 

the metaphysical character of reactionary psychology from its basic elements which were disclosed by a 
revolutionary psychological search and which have to be developed. Instead of criticising productively, he simply 
repudiates; he considers himself as a "materialist" when he throws out as "idealistic" such facts as "instinct," 
"need" or "psychological process." In doing so, he gets himself into the greatest difficulties and achieves only 
failure, for his political practice forces him constantly to use practical psychology; he cannot avoid talking about 
"human needs," "revolutionary consciousness," the "will to strike," etc. The more he repudiates psychology, the 
more he himself practises metaphysical psychologism and worse, empty Coueism: he will explain a historical 
situation by a "Hitler psychosis" or will tell the masses they should trust in him, that things are going ahead in 
spite of everything, that the revolution cannot be beaten, etc. Finally he becomes a dispenser of illusory 
encouragement without even saying anything factual about existing conditions and without comprehending what 
has happened. He will never understand such facts as that political reaction does not know a hopeless situation or 
that an economic crisis may lead to barbarism as well as to social freedom. Instead of deriving theory [12] and 
action from social reality, he changes reality, in his phantasy, to conform with his wishes. 

Our political psychology can be nothing but the investigation of this "subjective factor of history," of the 
character structure of the people of a given epoch, and of the ideological structure of their society. Unlike 
reactionary psychology and psychologistic economism, it does not set itself against Marxist sociology but fits into 
it in a specific place. 

The Marxist dictum that economic conditions transform themselves into ideology, and not vice versa, ignores 
two questions: First, how this takes place, what happens in the "human brain" in this process; and second, what is 
the retroactive effect of this "consciousness" (we shall speak of psychological structure) on the economic 
process? This gap is bridged by character- analytic psychology which uncovers that process in psychic life which 
is determined by the conditions of economic existence. It comprehends the "subjective factor" which the Marxist 
does not understand. Political psychology thus has a strictly circumscribed task. It cannot explain, say, the 
development of class society or the capitalist mode of production. (If it tries, the result is always reactionary 
nonsense, such as the explanation that capitalism is caused by human greed). But political psychology alone — not 
social economics — can make us understand the human character structure of a given epoch, how the individual 
thinks and acts, how he reacts to the conflicts of his existence and how he tries to manage them. True, it 
investigates the individual only. But if it specializes in the study of those psychological processes which any 
given groups, classes or professions have in common and which are characteristic of them, eliminating the 
individual differences between them, it becomes mass psychology. 

In so doing, it takes its starting point from Marx himself: 

Our starting point is not arbitrary assumption or dogma, but reality ... It is the actual individuals, their actions and their material 
living conditions, the pre-existing as well as those brought about by their actions. 

(Deutsche Ideologie, I) 

[13] Man is himself the basis of his material production as well as of any other. Thus, all conditions which affect man, the subject 
of production, also modify, more or less, all his functions and activities as the creator of material wealth, of commodities. It can be 
shown, in fact, that all human conditions and functions whatsoever influence material production more or less decisively. 3 

(THEORIEN UBER DEN MEHRWERT, 1905, 1, p. 388f.) 

Thus, we say nothing new, nor are we "revising Marx" as we have been so frequently accused of doing. "All 
human conditions" — that includes the conditions of the work process as well as the most personal and most 
private achievements of human thinking and emotional life. That is, it also includes the sexual life of the women, 
adolescents and children, the sociological investigation of those conditions and its application to new 
sociological problems. Hitler was able to make history with a certain kind of those "human conditions," history 
which cannot be laughed off. Marx was not able to develop a sexual sociology because at his time there was no 
sexology. It is a matter now of incorporating not only economic but also sex-economic conditions in the structure 

of sociology and of destroying the hegemony of the mystics and metaphysicists in this field. 

If an ideology has a "retroactive effect on the economic process" it must have become a material force. If an 
ideology becomes a material force as soon as it takes hold of the masses, then we must ask: how does this take 
place? The answer to this question must also contain the answer to the question of reactionary mass psychology, 
of the problem of how to eradicate the "Hitler psychosis." 

The ideology of any given society not only reflects the economic process of the society, it also has the function 
of anchoring the economic process in the psychological structure of the individual members of the society. Man is 
influenced by the conditions of his existence in a twofold manner: directly by the immediate influence of his 
economic and social position, and indirectly by the ideological structure of his society. For this reason, he de- 

3 Italics are mine. W.R. 

[14]velops, inevitably, a contradiction in his structure, a contradiction which corresponds to the contradiction 
between the influence of the economic position and that of the ideological structure of society. The worker, for 
example, is exposed to the influence of his work situation as well as to that of the general social ideology. Since 
the people in various strata are not only the objects of these influences, but also reproduce them as active 
individuals, their thinking and their actions must be as contradictory as the society from which they stem. By 
molding human psychological structure, social ideology not only reproduces itself in the people. More 
importantly, it becomes a material force in the form of the altered human structure, with its contradictory 
thinking and acting. This and only this makes possible the retroaction of social ideology on the economic base 
from which it stemmed. The "retroaction" loses its seemingly mystical or psychologistic character when one 
comprehends it as the functioning of the character structure of socially active individuals. As such, it becomes the 
object of scientific character research. The finding that the "ideology" changes more slowly than the economic 
basis, that there is a lag between them, becomes now understandable. The character structures which correspond 
to a certain historical situation are formed in early childhood and are much more conservative than the forces of 
technical production. It follows that, as time goes on, the psychological structures lag behind the development of 
the social conditions from which they stemmed and which progress rapidly. Therefore, they come into conflict 
with the later forms of living. This is the fundamental essence of so-called "tradition," that is, the conflict between 
the old and the new social situation. 


We have seen that the economic and the ideological situations of the masses are not necessarily congruent; more 
than that, there may be a considerable divergence between the two. The economic situation does not express itself 
directly and immediately in political consciousness. Otherwise, the social revolution would have occurred long 
ago. Corresponding to this divergence of social posi-[15]tion and social consciousness, the examination of society 
must be of a twofold nature. Notwithstanding the fact that the structure derives from economic conditions, it must 
be examined by a different method. To the economic situation, we have to apply the method of socio-economic 
investigation, to the character structure that of biopsychological research. To use a simple example: If workers 
who are starved because of low wages strike, or steal bread, their actions result directly from their economic 
situation. The striking or the stealing out of hunger need no further psychological explanation. The ideology and 
the action are appropriate to the economic pressure. Economic situation and ideology are congruent. In such 
cases, reactionary psychology attempts to show the allegedly irrational motives of the striking or stealing; such 
attempts always lead to reactionary explanations. 

In social psychology, the question is exactly the reverse: What is to be explained is not why the starving 
individual steals or why the exploited individual strikes, but why the majority of starving individuals do not steal 
and the majority of exploited individuals do not strike. Socio-economics, then, can satisfactorily explain a social 
phenomenon when human thinking and acting serve a rational purpose, when they serve the satisfaction of needs 

and directly express the economic situation. It fails, however, when human thinking and acting contradict the 
economic situation, when, in other words, they are irrational. Vulgar Marxian and economism, systems which 
repudiate psychology, are at a loss when confronted with this contradiction. The more mechanistic and 
economistic the orientation of a sociologist, the less he knows human structure, the more will his mass 
propaganda take the form of superficial psychologism. Instead of comprehending and trying to eliminate the 
psychological contradiction in the mass individual, he will engage in Coueism or explain the fascist movement as 
a "mass psychosis." Since the economistic sociologist neither knows nor acknowledges psychic processes, "mass 
psychosis," to him, does not mean, as it does to us, a gigantic social fact of historical significance, but nothing but 
a socially insignificant, negligible item. 

[16] The province of mass psychology, then, begins precisely at the point where the immediate socio-economic 
explanation fails. Does this mean an antithesis between mass psychology and socio-economics? No. For the 
irrational thinking and behavior of the masses which contradicts the existing socio-economic situation is itself the 
result of an earlier socio-economic situation. It has been customary to explain the inhibition of social 
consciousness by so-called tradition. But thus far nobody has taken the trouble to find out what "tradition" is, 
what psychological processes it reflects. Economism has hitherto overlooked the fact that the important question 
is not that the working individual has consciousness of social responsibility; that goes without saying. The 
question is, what inhibits the development of the consciousness of responsibility? 

Ignorance of the character structure of the human masses again and again results in sterile explanations. The 
Communists, for example, explained the rise of fascism by the faults of Social-Democratic politics. Such an 
explanation led into a blind alley, for it was an essential characteristic of Social Democracy to spread illusions. 
Such an explanation could not lead to a new policy. Similarly unproductive were such explanations as that 
political reaction had, in the form of fascism, "misguided" or "hypnotized" the masses. To do that is, and always 
will be, the function of fascism. Such explanations are unproductive because they do not point a new way. 
Experience shows that no "disclosures" of this kind will convince the masses, that, in other words, the socio- 
economic explanation alone is insufficient. Would it not be logical to ask, what is it in the masses themselves that 
made it impossible for them to recognize the function of fascism? The typical formulae, "The workers must 
realize ..." or "We did not understand ..." are of no help. Why did the workers fail to realize and why did we not 
understand? Another sterile explanation formed the basis of the discussion between the Left and the Right wings 
in the workers' movement: The Right contended that the workers were not willing to fight; the Left countered by 
saying that it was not so, that the workers were revolutionary and the contention of [17] the Right was a betrayal 
of the revolution. Both statements, with their either-or alternatives, were mechanistically rigid. What would have 
corresponded to reality would have been the finding that the average worker is neither unequivocally 
revolutionary nor is he unequivocally conservative. Rather, he is in a conflict: on the one hand, his psychological 
structure derives from his social position, which tends to make him revolutionary, on the other hand, from the 
total atmosphere of authoritarian society, which tends to make him conservative. Thus, his revolutionary and his 
conservative tendencies are in conflict with each other. 

It is of decisive importance to see this conflict and to find out in what concrete forms the reactionary and the 
revolutionary elements operate in the worker. The same applies, of course, to the member of the middle classes. 
That he rebels against the "system" in a crisis, is immediately understandable. What is not understandable socio- 
economically is the fact that he, although already pauperized, nevertheless is afraid of progress and becomes 
extremely reactionary. He, too, labors under a conflict between rebellious feelings and reactionary ideology. 

A war, for example, is not satisfactorily explained sociologically by the specific economic and political factors 
which lead to its actual outbreak, factors like the German designs in 1914 on the ores of Briey and Longy, the 
Belgian industrial areas, and Asiatic colonies, or, in the second world war, the interests of Hitler's imperialism in 
the oil wells of Baku, the industries of Czechoslovakia, etc. True, the economic interests of German imperialism 
were the present-day factor. But we must also consider the mass -psychological basis of world wars and ask 
ourselves: What produced the mass-psychological soil on which an imperialistic ideology could grow and could 

be put into practice, in strict contradiction to the peace-loving mentality of a German population uninterested in 
foreign politics? The "betrayal of the leaders of the Second International" is no satisfactory answer. Why, one 
must ask, did millions of workers, with a liberal and anti-imperialistic attitude, let themselves be betrayed? Fear 
of the consequences of refusal to take up arms could be the motive [18] only in a small minority. If one had 
witnessed the mobilization of 1914, one knew that the working population showed diverse attitudes. There was a 
conscious rejection on the part of a minority; a peculiar submission to fate or an indolence; and violent 
enthusiasm not only in the middle classes but also in masses of industrial workers. The indolence of many as well 
as the enthusiasm of many others was undoubtedly basic in the mass-psychology of the war. This mass- 
psychological function in both world wars can be comprehended only by understanding that the imperialist 
ideology changed the structure of the working masses concretely in the direction of imperialism. Social 
catastrophes cannot be simply explained by such terms as "war psychosis" or "mass obfuscation." To hold the 
masses accessible to simple obfuscation would mean holding them in contempt. The point is that every social 
order creates for itself in the masses of its members that structure which it needs for its main purposes.^ Without 
this mass-psychological structure, no war would be possible. There is an important relationship between the 
economic structure of a society and the mass-psychological structure of its members. It is not merely that the 
ruling ideology is the ideology of the ruling class. What is more important for the solution of practical problems 
is the fact that the contradictions in the economic structure of a society are also anchored in the mass- 
psychological structure of its members. Otherwise, the fact could not be understood that the economic laws of a 
society can have practical effects only through the activity of the masses who are subject to them. 
The German freedom movements, it is true, knew about the importance of the so-called "subjective factor in 
history" 5 ; what 

4 "In any given epoch, the ideals of the ruling class are the ruling ideas. That is, that class which is the ruling material power of society is also the ruling 
ideological power. That class which has at its disposal the means for material production has, by that very fact, also at its disposal the means of ideological 
production; therefore it also rules the ideas of those who lack the means of ideological production. The ruling ideas are nothing but the ideological expression 
of the existing material conditions, the conditions which made that one class the ruling one, the ideas of its ruling." — Marx. 

5 Marx, unlike mechanical materialists, comprehended, in principle, man as the subject of history, and Lenin developed especially this aspect of Marxism. 

[19] was lacking, however, was the comprehension of irrational behavior, in other words, of the divergence of 
economy and ideology. We must explain how it was possible that mysticism was victorious over scientific 
sociology. This we cannot do unless we approach the problem in such a fashion that our explanation 
spontaneously points the way to a new program of action. The discovery of the fact that the working individual is 
neither unequivocally reactionary nor unequivocally revolutionary but in a conflict between reactionary and 
revolutionary tendencies, must of necessity lead to a practical program which opposes the reactionary 
psychological forces with revolutionary forces. Any kind of mysticism is reactionary, and the reactionary 
individual is a mystic. Trying to laugh off mysticism as "obfuscation" or "psychosis," without explaining it, does 
not produce any measures against mysticism. If, on the other hand, one comprehends mysticism correctly, an 
antidote will be automatically found. But to do this, it is first necessary to comprehend, as far as possible, the 
relationships between social conditions and structure formation, in particular the ideas which are incapable of a 
direct socio-economic explanation: the irrational ideas. 


Lenin was struck by a peculiar irrational behavior of the masses before or during revolts. He writes about the 
soldiers' revolts in 1905 (Uber Religion, p. 65): 

The soldier had the greatest sympathy for the cause of the peasant; his eyes shone at the mere mention of land. Several times, the 
soldiers had taken over the military power, but never was there any decided utilization of this power. The soldiers became hesitant. 
A few hours after having killed one of their hated superiors they let the others go free, began negotiations with the authorities and let 

themselves be shot, lay down again under the rod and let themselves be put in the yoke . . . 

The mystic will explain such behavior on the basis of the eternal moral nature of man which makes rebellion 
against the [20] laws of God, against the "authority of the state" and its representatives impossible. 

The vulgar Marxist leaves such phenomena out of consideration altogether; he cannot understand or explain 
them because they cannot be explained in purely socio-economic terms. 

Freud's concept comes closer to the facts in that it explains such behavior from an infantile guilt feeling toward 
the father. Yet, it does not explain the social origin and function of the behavior and therefore does not lead to a 
practical solution either. Also, it overlooks the connection between such behavior and the suppression and 
distortion of the sexual life of the masses. 

The question as to how we can approach such mass-psychological irrational phenomena requires a brief review 
of the research method of sex-economy. 

Sex-economy is a method of research which developed over many years through the application of functionalism 
to human sex life and which has arrived at a series of new findings. It starts from the following premises: 

Marx found that social life is governed by the conditions of economic production and the resulting class 
struggles. The owners of the social means of production rarely use brute force in their suppression of the ruled 
classes; their main weapon is their ideological power over the oppressed which also lends powerful support to the 
state. We have already mentioned the fact that Marx considered living man, with his psychological and physical 
characteristics, the central factor in history and politics. The character structure of acting man, the so-called 
"subjective factor in history" in the sense of Marx, remained unexplored: Marx was a sociologist and not a 
psychologist, and there was, in his day, no scientific psychology. Thus the question remained open as to why 
people, for thousands of years, have tolerated exploitation and moral degradation, in brief, slavery; Marx explored 
only the economic process in society and the mechanism of economic exploitation. 

About a half century later, Freud, with a special method which [21] he called psychoanalysis, discovered the 
processes which govern psychic life. The most important of his discoveries, which had a revolutionary effect on a 
great many generally accepted concepts and thus brought down the hatred of the world on him, were the 
following 6 : 

Conscious psychic life is only a small part of psychic life. It is governed by psychological processes which are 
unconscious and therefore not under the control of the conscious. All psychic phenomena, no matter how 
meaningless they may appear, like dreams, slips of the tongue, forgetting and misplacing things, the absurd 
utterances of mental patients, they all have a function and a "meaning" and can be understood from the history of 
the individual. In this way, psychology — which up to that time had led a miserable existence in the form of a kind 
of physics of the brain ("brain mythology") or as a teaching of a mysterious objective spirit — became part of 
natural science. 

The second great discovery was that even the small child develops a lively sexuality, that, in other words, 
sexuality and procreation are not the same thing, and sexual and genital are not synonymous. The analysis of the 
psychological processes showed, furthermore, that sexuality, or, rather, its energy, the libido, which derives from 
bodily sources, is the central motor of psychic life. Biological factors and social conditions converge in psychic 

The third great discovery was the fact that infantile sexuality — which includes the most essential part of the 
child-parent relationship, the "Oedipus complex" — is usually repressed because of fear of punishment for sexual 
thoughts and actions (basically, "castration anxiety"). As a result, infantile sexuality becomes excluded from 
activity and disappears from conscious memory. The repression of infantile sexuality removes it from conscious 
control. This does not, however, deprive it of its strength; on the contrary, it intensifies it and thus enables it to 
manifest itself in 

6 For a more extensive presentation, cf. W. Reich, "Dialektischer Materialismus und Psychoanalyse," Unter dem Banner des Marxismus. 1929. 

[22] various psychic disturbances. As this repression of infantile sexuality is the rule in "civilized man," Freud 
could rightly state that all humanity was his patient. 

The fourth important discovery was that human morality, far from being of supernatural origin, results from the 
suppressive measures of early infantile education, particularly those directed against sexuality. The original 
conflict between infantile desires and parental prohibitions lives on as an internal conflict between instinct and 
morals. The moral forces in the adult, which are themselves unconscious, act against the recognition of the laws 
of sexuality and of unconscious psychic life; they support sexual repression ("sex resistance") and explain the 
resistance of the world to the discovery of infantile sexuality. 

We have mentioned only those discoveries which are most important for our subject. By their very existence, 
they were a heavy blow to reactionary moral philosophy and especially to religious metaphysics which proclaims 
the existence of eternal moral values, that an objective spirit governs the world, and which denies the existence of 
infantile sexuality and restricts sexuality to procreation. These discoveries, however, did not exert an influence 
commensurate with their paramount importance because the psychological sociology which developed from them 
robbed them again of most of their revolutionary elements. This is not the place to demonstrate this fact. 
Psychoanalytic sociology suffered from the following errors: it attempted to analyze society as if it were an 
individual; it postulated an absolute antithesis between cultural process and sexual gratification; it considered the 
destructive drives as biological facts which governed human fate in an inexorable manner; it denied the 
sociological development of patriarchy from matriarchy and contended that the patriarchal family was a 
biological fact. As a result of these errors, it ended up in a paralyzing skepticism; it was afraid of the 
consequences which followed logically from its own discoveries. For a long time now, it has taken an inimical 
attitude toward attempts at drawing these conclusions, and its representatives consistently fight against such 
attempts. Nevertheless, we [23] shall strongly defend Freud's great discoveries against any attack, no matter 
where it originates. 

The methodology of sex-economic sociology which had these discoveries as its starting point is not one of the 
common attempts to supplement Marx with Freud, or Freud with Marx, or to replace one by the other. 
Psychoanalysis should fulfil a scientific function which socio-economics cannot fulfil: the comprehension not of 
the historical soil of the ideology, but of its structure and dynamics. By including the discoveries of 
psychoanalysis, sociology reaches a higher level and becomes better able to comprehend reality because, finally, 
it includes the knowledge of human structure. Only a narrow-minded politician would think of reproaching the 
character-analytic psychology of structure for not being able immediately to give easily followed practical 

It follows that sex-economic sociology which is based on the sociological foundation of Marx and the 
psychological one of Freud, is in its essence mass-psychological and sexual- sociological at one and the same 
time. It begins, with its refutation of Freud's cultural philosophy, 7 where the clinical-psychological exploration of 
psychoanalysis ends. 

Psychoanalysis reveals the mechanisms of sexual suppression and repression and their pathological effects in the 
individual. Sex-economic sociology goes on from here and asks, For what sociological reason does society 
suppress sexuality and does the individual repress it? There have been many answers to this question. The church 
says, for the sake of the soul in the hereafter. Mystical moral philosophy says, because of the eternal ethical 
nature of man. Freud's cultural philosophy says, for the sake of "culture." One has reason to doubt such an 
explanation and to ask how on earth the masturbation of infants or the sexual intercourse of adolescents will 
interfere with the building of gasoline stations or airplanes. It is not difficult to see that it is not cultural activity as 
such which requires the suppression 

7 With regard to Freud's cultural philosophy, one might say that — in spite of all its idealism — it contains more truths about life as it is than all sociologies and 
a great many Marxist psychologies taken together. 

[24] of infantile and adolescent sexuality but only the present-day forms of cultural activity. And one would 
readily sacrifice these forms if that would eliminate the untold misery of children and adolescent youth. The 
question is not one of culture but of the social order. If one studies the history of sexual suppression one finds that 
it does not exist in the early stages of culture formation. Therefore, it cannot be the prerequisite of culture. Rather, 
it appears at a relatively late stage of culture, at the time of the development of authoritarian patriarchy and of 
class distinctions. At that stage, the sexual interests of all begin to serve the profit interests of a minority. This 
process has assumed a solid organizational form in the institutions of patriarchal marriage and patriarchal family. 
With the suppression of sexuality the emotions undergo a change: a sex-negating religion begins to develop 
which gradually builds up its own sex-political organization, the church in all its forms, which has no other goal 
than that of eradicating sexual pleasure. This has its sociological reason in the exploitation of human work which 
sets in at this stage. 

In order to understand this, we must study that social institution in which the economic and the sex-economic 
situation of patriarchal society are interlaced. Without a study of this institution, a comprehension of the sexual 
economy and of the ideology of patriarchy is impossible. Character-analytic investigation of people of any age, 
nationality or social stratum, shows that the interlacing of the socio-economic with the sexual structure, as well as 
the structural reproduction of society, takes place in the first four or five years of life, and in the authoritarian 
family. The church only continues this function later on. In this way the authoritarian state develops its enormous 
interest in the authoritarian family: the family is the factory of its structure and ideology. 

We have found the institutions in which the economic and the sexual interests of the authoritarian system meet. 
We have to ask ourselves how this comes about. This question is also answered by character-analysis, provided 
one does not exclude such questions from character- analytic investigation. Suppression of the [25] natural 
sexuality in the child, particularly of its genital sexuality, makes the child apprehensive, shy, obedient, afraid of 
authority, "good" and "adjusted" in the authoritarian sense; it paralyzes the rebellious forces because any rebellion 
is laden with anxiety; it produces, by inhibiting sexual curiosity and sexual thinking in the child, a general 
inhibition of thinking and of critical faculties. In brief, the goal of sexual suppression is that of producing an 
individual who is adjusted to the authoritarian order and who will submit to it in spite of all misery and 
degradation. At first, the child has to adjust to the structure of the authoritarian miniature state, the family; this 
makes it capable of later subordination to the general authoritarian system. The formation of the authoritarian 
structure takes place through the anchoring of sexual inhibition and sexual anxiety. 

To understand why sex-economy considers the authoritarian family the most important place of reproduction of 
the authoritarian system, we only have to take the example of a conservative worker's wife. Her economic 
situation is the same as that of the revolutionary worker's, but she votes fascist. The difference between the sexual 
ideology of the average revolutionary and the average reactionary woman is decisive: the anti-sexual, moralistic 
structure of the conservative woman makes it impossible for her to develop a consciousness of her social position, 
it ties her to the church as much as it makes her afraid of "Sexualbolschewismus." Theoretically, the situation is 
the following: the mechanistically thinking vulgar Marxist assumes that the consciousness of the social position 
would be most acute when economic misery is sharpened by the additional sexual misery. If that were so, the 
masses of women and of adolescents would be far more rebellious than the men. The exact opposite is true, 
however, which the economist is at a loss to understand. He will not understand why the reactionary woman does 
not even want to listen to his economic program. The answer is the following: the suppression of the gratification 
of primitive material needs has a result different from that of the suppression of the gratification of the sexual 
needs. The former incites rebellion. The latter, [26] however — by repressing the sexual needs and by becoming 
anchored as moralistic defense — paralyzes the rebellion against either kind of suppression. More than that, the 
inhibition of rebellion itself is unconscious. The conscious mind of the average unpolitical individual does not 
even show a trace of it. 

The result of this process is fear of freedom, and a conservative, reactionary mentality. Sexual repression aids 

political reaction not only through this process which makes the mass individual passive and unpolitical but also 
by creating in his structure an interest in actively supporting the authoritarian order. The suppression of natural 
sexual gratification leads to various kinds of substitute gratifications. Natural aggression, for example, becomes 
brutal sadism which then is an essential mass-psychological factor in imperialistic wars. To take another example: 
the mass-psychological effect of militarism is essentially libidinous. The sexual effect of a uniform and of 
rhythmically perfect parades, of military exhibitionism in general, are obvious to the average servant girl, even 
though they may not be obvious to learned political scientists. Political reaction, however, makes conscious use of 
these sexual interests. Not only does it create peacock- like uniforms for the men, it uses attractive women in its 
recruiting campaigns. One only has to remember the recruiting posters with texts like this, "If you want to see the 
world, join the Royal Navy." The far-away world is represented by exotic women. Why are such posters 
effective? Because our youth, as a result of sexual suppression, is sex-starved. 

Sexual moralism, which inhibits the will for freedom, as well as those forces which tend in the direction of 
authoritarian interests, derive their energy from repressed sexuality. Now we understand a basic element in the 
"retroaction of ideology on the economic base." Sexual inhibition alters the structure of the economically 
suppressed individual in such a manner that he thinks, feels and acts against his own material interests. 

This is the mass-psychological explanation and confirmation of Lenin's observations in the soldiers' rebellion of 
1905. To the unconscious of these soldiers, the officers represented their fathers [27] who denied their sexuality 
and whom one was not allowed to kill even though they destroyed one's joy in life. Their hesitation and 
repentance after having seized power were the expression of their hatred turned into its opposite, into neurotic 
sympathy; thus, the hatred could not be translated into action. 

The practical problem of mass psychology, then, is that of activating the passive majority of the population 
which always carries political reaction to victory; and the elimination of the inhibitions which counteract the will 
to freedom as it is generated by the socio-economic position. If the psychic energies of the average mass of 
people watching a football game or a musical comedy could be diverted into the rational channels of a freedom 
movement, they would be invincible. This is the standpoint which guides the following sex-economic 





Future historians will be likely to conclude from Hitler's success that only the great man makes history, by firing 
the masses with "his idea." National Socialist propaganda was indeed built upon this "Fiihrer ideology." The 
mechanism of their success was unknown to the propagandists of National Socialism, nor did they dare to 
comprehend the historical soil of the National Socialist movement. Quite in keeping with this, the National 
Socialist, Wilhelm Stapel, wrote in his CHRISTENTUM UND NATIONALSOZIALISMUS: "Because National 
Socialism is an elementary movement, it cannot be countered with arguments. Arguments could only be effective 
if the movement had grown by arguments." Speeches in National Socialist meetings were indeed characterized by 
very clever manipulations of the emotions of the mass individuals and by strict avoidance of objective 
argumentation. Hitler, in MEIN KAMPF, emphasized repeatedly that the only correct mass-psychological 
technique was that of avoiding arguments and of keeping the "big final goal" before the masses. The true nature 
of the "final goal" after the seizure of power is demonstrated by Italian fascism. Similarly, Goring's edicts against 

middle-class economic organizations, the failure of the "second revolution" to materialize, the failure to keep the 
promises of Socialist measures, etc., all these clearly showed the reactionary function of fascism. How little Hitler 
himself knew the mechanism of his successes is shown by the following statement: 

[29] This broadness of outline from which we must never depart, in combination with steady, consistent emphasis, allows our final 
success to mature. And then, to our amazement, we shall see what tremendous results such perseverance leads to — results that are 
almost beyond our understanding. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 185)* 

Thus, Hitler's success could by no means be explained by his reactionary role in the history of capitalism, for 
had this role been openly admitted in the propaganda, it would have had the opposite effect from that which was 
intended. Investigation of Hitler's mass-psychological success must start from the fact that a Fiihrer or the 
advocate of an idea can succeed only if his ideology or program is concordant with the average structure of the 
mass individual. This leads to the further question, What historical and sociological situation created this mass 
structure? With that, the problem of mass-psychology is no longer one of metaphysics but of actual social life. 
Only if a Fiihrer structure is concordant with the structure of the average mass individual can a "Fiihrer" make 
history. Whether he makes history in a lasting sense or merely temporarily depends only on whether his program 
is in the direction of the progressive social process or against it. It is misleading to explain Hitler's success by 
National Socialist demagogy, the "obfuscation of the masses" or such meaningless terms as "Nazi psychosis." For 
the question is precisely why the masses were accessible to demagogy, obfuscation and a psychotic situation. The 
answer to this question requires an exact knowledge of what goes on in the masses. To say that the Hitler 
movement had a reactionary function is insufficient. For the mass success of the NSDAP seems to be at variance 
with this reactionary function. Millions of people affirmed their own subjugation. This contradiction cannot be 
explained on a political or economic basis, but only mass-psychologically. 

* Translator's note: The quotations from Mein KAMPF — with the exception of one, which is so marked — are taken from Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, 
Translated by Ralph Manheim, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1943. Permission to use these quotations was kindly granted by the Houghton Mifflin 
Company and is hereby gratefully acknowledged. — T.P.W. 

[30] National Socialism used different means with different classes and made different promises according to 
the class it wished to win over at a given moment. In the spring of 1933, for example, the revolutionary character 
of the Nazi movement was emphasized, in an attempt to win the industrial workers. The Nazis proceeded to 
"celebrate" May Day after having first placated the aristocracy in Potsdam. To conclude from this that the success 
was due only to political swindle would mean denying the possibility of social revolution. The question is: why 
do the masses fall for political swindle? They had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of various 
parties. Why did they fail to discover that Hitler promised to the workers the expropriation of the private means 
of production while at the same time he promised the capitalists protection against expropriation? 

Hitler's personal structure and life history are irrelevant for an understanding of National Socialism. True, it is 
interesting that the middle-class origin of his ideas fits the mass structure which readily accepted these ideas. 

Like any other reactionary movement, Hitlerism gained its support from the various strata of the middle class. 
National Socialism laid bare all the contradictions which characterize the mass-psychology of the middle class. 
We will have to comprehend these contradictions and their common origin in the imperialist conditions of 
production. We shall limit ourselves to the problems of sexual ideology. 


The leader of the rebelling German middle classes was himself the son of a minor official. He relates how he 
had to go through that conflict which characterizes the mass structure of the middle classes. His father wanted to 
make an official of him, but the son rebelled and decided "under no circumstances" to give in; he became a 

painter and with that, poor. But alongside this rebellion against the father there remained the respect for his 
authority. This ambivalent attitude — rebellion against authority with simultaneous respect and 
submission — characterizes any middle class [31] structure at the period of transition from adolescence to maturity 
and is accentuated by straitened circumstances. 

Of his mother, Hitler speaks with a great deal of sentimentality. He assures us that only once in his life did he 
cry: when his mother died. His theory of race and syphilis (vide infra) shows clearly his sexual defense and his 
neurotic idealization of motherhood. 

As a young Nationalist, Hitler, who lived in Austria, decided to take up the fight against the Hapsburgs who, as 
he said, "delivered the German fatherland to Slavization." In his controversy with the Hapsburgs, the reproach 
that there were a few syphilitics among them assumes an important place. This would not seem important were it 
not for the fact that the idea of the "poisoning of the people" and the problem of syphilis came up again and again 
and formed, after the seizure of power, a central part of internal politics. 

Originally, Hitler had sympathized with Social Democracy because it fought for universal suffrage by ballot 
which might have led to a weakening of the hated "Hapsburg regime." But he was repulsed by the Social- 
Democratic emphasis on classes, the negation of the nation and its authority, of the right to the ownership of 
social means of production, of religion and morals. What finally turned him definitely against Social Democracy 
was the demand that he join the union which he refused to do. 

His ideal became Bismarck, because he had unified the German nation and because he fought the Austrian 
throne. His further development was decisively influenced by the antisemitist Lueger and the German Nationalist 
Schonerer. He now formulated nationalistic imperialist goals which he intended to reach by better means than the 
old "bourgeois" nationalism. What determined the choice of these means was the realization of the power of 
organized Marxism, and the realization of the significance of the masses for any political movement. 

Not until the international world view — politically led by organized Marxism — is confronted by a folk world view, organized and 
led with [32] equal unity, will success, supposing the fighting energy to be equal on both sides, fall to the side of eternal truth. 

What gave the international world view success was its representation by a political party organized into storm troops; what caused 
the defeat of the opposite world view was its lack up to now of a unified body to represent it. Not by unlimited freedom to interpret a 
general view, but only in the limited and hence integrating form of a political organization can a world view fight and conquer. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 384f.) 

Hitler soon realized the inconsistency of Social-Democratic politics and the impotence of the old bourgeois 
parties, including the German National party. 

All this was only the necessary consequence of the absence of a basic new anti-Marxist philosophy endowed with a stormy will to 

The more I occupied myself with the idea of a necessary change in the government's attitude toward Social Democracy as the 
momentary embodiment of Marxism, the more I recognized the lack of a serviceable substitute for this doctrine. What would be 
given the masses, if, just supposing, Social Democracy had been broken? There was not one movement in existence which could 
have been expected to succeed in drawing into its sphere of influence the great multitudes of workers grown more or less leaderless. 
It is senseless and more than stupid to believe that the international fanatic who had left the class party would now at once join a 
bourgeois party, in other words, a new class organization. 

The "bourgeois" parties, as they designate themselves, will never be able to attach the "proletarian" masses to their camp, for here 
two worlds oppose each other, in part naturally and in part artificially divided, whose mutual relation can only be struggle. The 
younger will be victorious — and this is Marxism. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 173f.) 

The basic anti-Soviet tendency of National Socialism became apparent at an early stage: 

If land was desired in Europe, it could be obtained by and large [33] only at the expense of Russia, and this meant that the new 
Reich must again set itself on the march along the road of the Teutonic Knights of old, to obtain by the German sword sod for the 

German plow and daily bread for the nation. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 140) 

Thus Hitler saw himself confronted with the following questions: How can the National Socialist idea be carried 
to victory? How can Marxism be fought effectively? How can one gain influence over the masses? 

To this end, Hitler appealed to the nationalist emotions of the masses, at the same time resolving to organize on 
a mass basis like Marxism, and to develop a propaganda technique of his own and to use it consistently. 

As he openly admitted, he proposed to achieve nationalist imperialism by methods borrowed from Marxism and 
its technique of mass organization. The reason for the success of this mass organization lies in the masses and not 
in Hitler. His propaganda could take root because of the authoritarian freedom-fearing structure of the people. 
Thus Hitler's sociological importance does not lie in his personality but in the significance which he is given by 
the masses. The problem is made all the more acute by the fact that Hitler held the masses, with the aid of which 
he was to accomplish imperialism, in thorough contempt. He stated candidly that "the mood of the people was 
always a mere discharge of what was funneled into public opinion from above." 

What was the structure of the masses that it made them absorb Hitler's propaganda in spite of everything? 


We stated that Hitler's success was due neither to his "personality" nor to the objective role of his ideology in 
capitalism, nor to a mere "obfuscation" of the masses who followed him. We focussed attention on the question, 
What was it in the masses that caused them to follow a party the aims of which were, objectively and subjectively, 
strictly at variance with their own interests? 

[34] To begin with, the fact has to be remembered that the National Socialist movement, in its initial success, 
leaned on the so-called middle classes, that is, the millions of private and public officials, small business people 
and farmers. With regard to its social basis, National Socialism was originally a middle class movement. This 
was the case wherever it developed, be it in Italy, Hungary, Argentine or Norway. It follows that this middle 
class, which had previously belonged to the bourgeois Democratic parties, had undergone a change, that it had 
changed its political standpoint. The social position and the corresponding psychological structure of the middle 
class explain the basic differences, as well as the similarities, between the bourgeois-liberal and the fascist 
ideologies. The fascist middle class is the same as the Democratic-Liberal, only in a different epoch of capitalism. 
In the election years of 1930-32, the growth of National Socialism derived almost exclusively from the German 
Nationalist party, the Wirtschafts-partei and the various minor parties of the Reich. Only the Catholic Center 
Party maintained its position even in the Prussian election of 1932. Only at that time did National Socialism 
succeed in making an inroad into the masses of the industrial workers. But the mainstay of the Swastika was 
always the middle class. During these years of 1929-32, the period of the severest economic disruption of the 
capitalist system, the middle class entered the political arena in the form of National Socialism and put the brakes 
on a revolutionary reorganization of society. Political reaction well knew the decisive importance of the middle 
class. "The middle class is of decisive significance for the existence of the State," said a handbill of the German 
Nationalists of April 8, 1932. 

After January 30, 1933, the social significance of the middle class played an important role in the discussion of 
the Left. Up to that time, the question had been neglected, partly because attention was focussed on the 
development of political reaction, partly because the politicians did not think in mass -psychological terms. In 
these discussions of the "rebellion of the middle class" two main opinions were expressed. One group maintained 
that [35] fascism was "nothing but" the guard of big business. The other, while not overlooking this aspect, 
emphasized the "rebellion of the middle class." The advocates of this standpoint were blamed for minimizing the 
reactionary function of fascism, they were reminded of Thyssen's nomination as economic dictator, of the 
abolition of the middle class economic organizations, the retreat of the "second revolution," in brief, of the 
reactionary character of fascism which, in the summer of 1933, became increasingly manifest. 

In these violent discussions, something important was overlooked, which led to a good deal of confusion: the 
fact that National Socialism revealed itself more and more as imperialistic nationalism which tried to eliminate 
anything "Socialist" from the movement and which prepared for war on all sides, did not contradict the other fact 
that fascism, seen from its mass basis, was in fact a middle class movement. Without his promise to fight big 
business, Hitler never would have won over the middle class strata. They carried him to victory because they 
were against big business. Under their pressure, the Nazis had to institute anti- capitalistic measures, just as under 
the pressure of big business they had to scrap them again. One must distinguish the subjective interests resting in 
the mass basis of a reactionary movement from the objective reactionary function. These contradict each other, 
although they were at first united in the totality of the Nazi movement. Unless one makes this distinction one 
cannot have a common understanding because in speaking of "fascism," some will be referring to the objective 
role of fascism, and others to the subjective interests of the fascist masses. The antithesis of these two aspects of 
fascism is the basis of all its contradictions fust as their unification in the one form, "National Socialism," 
characterizes the Hitler movement. Insofar as National Socialism had to emphasize its middle class character 
{before the seizure of power and immediately afterwards) it was in fact anti-capitalistic and revolutionary. 
Insofar as (for the solidification and maintenance of its regime) it shed its anticapitalistic character more and more 
and showed its capitalistic function more and more exclusively, [36] it became the extreme defender of 
imperialism and the capitalist economic order. It is entirely irrelevant how many of its leaders had an honest or 
dishonest "Socialist" attitude or how many were out to deceive the people and to grab power for themselves. Such 
considerations are no basis for effective anti-fascist politics. One could have learned to understand German 
fascism from Italian fascism, for Italian fascism also showed these two strictly contradictory functions and their 
fusion into one concept. 

Those who deny or underestimate the function of the mass basis of fascism claim that the middle class — because 
it neither possesses the essential means of production nor works with them — cannot really make history and thus 
oscillates between capital and the industrial workers. They overlook the fact that, while the middle class cannot 
make lasting history, it can make temporary history. That it can do so is demonstrated by Italian and German 
fascism. We mean here not only the smashing of the labor unions, the untold victims of barbarism, but, more than 
anything else, the blocking of the development of the economic crisis into social revolution. It is clear that the 
greater in size and influence the middle class strata are in a nation, the more decisive is their role as a social 
factor. Between 1933 and 1942 we witnessed the paradox that fascism, in the form of an international movement, 
was able to outstrip revolutionary internationalism. The Socialists and Communists nurtured illusions with regard 
to the progress of the revolutionary movement compared with the progress of reaction. This meant political 
suicide, the best motives notwithstanding. This question deserves careful attention. The process which has taken 
place during the past decade in the middle classes of all countries deserves far more attention than the trivial and 
well-known observation that fascism means extreme economic and political reaction. With the latter, nothing can 
be done politically, as the history of the years from 1928 to 1942 has amply proven. 

The middle class made its entrance as a social force in the form of fascism. What is relevant is not the 
reactionary intentions of a Hitler or a Goring but the social interests of the middle class [37] strata. The middle 
class, as a result of its character structure, is an enormous social power, a power far beyond its economic 
importance. It is that stratum which keeps alive several thousand years of patriarchy with all its contradictions. 

That a fascist movement exists at all is undoubtedly a sociological expression of nationalist imperialism. But the 
fact that this fascist movement was able to become a mass movement and could thus attain the power to fulfil the 
imperialistic function — that is the effect of the mass movement of the middle class. Only out of these 
contradictions can the contradictory phenomena of fascism be comprehended. 

The social position of the middle class is determined by three factors: 

a) its position in the capitalist production process; 

b) its position in the authoritarian state machinery; and 

c) its specific family situation, which is directly determined by its position in the production process and which 

determines its ideology. While the economic situation of the small farmers, the officials and small businessmen is 
different, their family situation is essentially the same. 

The rapid development of capitalistic economy during the 19th century, the progressive mechanization of 
production, the development of monopolistic syndicates and trusts all led to a progressive pauperization of the 
lower middle class business and tradespeople. Unable to compete with big business, small enterprises inevitably 

The middle class can expect nothing from this system but ruthless destruction. The alternative is: whether all will become a large 
gray mass of proletarians where all have equally much, that is, nothing, or whether the individual will be able again by his own 
strength and industry to create his own property. Middle class or proletarian: that is the question. 

Thus speaks the Deutschnationale Partei before the Reichs-presidential elections in 1932. The National 
Socialists were not [38] clumsy enough to create a wide gap between middle class and industrial workers and 
were therefore more successful. 

In the propaganda of the NSDAP the fight against the large department stores played a large role. But the 
conflict between the role which National Socialism played for heavy industry on the one hand and the interests of 
the middle class on which National Socialism depended was expressed, e.g., in Hitler's talk with Knickerbocker: 
"We shall not make German- American relationships dependent on a shop (he was referring to the fate of 
Woolworth in Berlin) ... the existence of such enterprises means furthering bolshevism ... It destroys many 
small enterprises. For that reason, we shall not tolerate them. But you can rest assured that your enterprises of this 
kind in Germany will be treated no differently from similar German enterprises." 1 The debts of private business 
to foreign countries were a heavy burden on the middle class. But while Hitler favored their payment because his 
foreign policy was dependent on it, his followers demanded that they be scrapped. The middle class rebelled 
"against the system" by which it meant the "Marxist regime" of Social Democracy. 

The economic crisis made a solid organization of the middle class strata necessary, but equally strong factors 
militated against it. The competition between the small enterprises had always prevented the development of a 
feeling of solidarity such as the industrial workers had developed. Because of his social position alone, the middle 
class individual cannot develop solidarity either with his own social stratum or that of the industrial workers; with 
his own stratum because there competition prevails, and with the industrial worker because he fears nothing more 
than proletarization. Yet, in spite of this, the fascist movement brought about a unification of the middle classes. 
The question is, on what mass-psychological basis did this take place? 

The answer lies in the social position of the minor officials, government and private. The economic position of 
the average official is inferior to that of the average specialized industrial 

1 After the seizure of power, in March and April, there was a mass attack on the department stores to which the NSDAP soon put a stop. 

[39] worker; this is partly compensated by certain — or uncertain — prospects of advancement, and in the case of 
the government official, that of a lifelong pension. The official, thus dependent on government authority, 
develops an attitude of competition toward his colleagues which prevents the development of solidarity. The 
social consciousness of the official is not characterized by the fate he has in common with his colleagues, but by 
his attitude toward government authority and the "nation." This attitude is one of complete identification with 
state authority 1 in the case of the government official, with the business enterprise in the case of the private 
official. He is a subject no less than the industrial worker. Why, then, does he not develop a feeling of solidarity 
like the industrial worker? Because of his position in between authority and industrial workers. On the one hand 
he is a subject of this authority and on the other hand its representative; as such he enjoys a privileged position 
morally even if not economically. The most clear-cut embodiment of this mass-psychological type is the top 

The power of this identification with the master is seen in a gross form in the servants of aristocratic homes, in 

butlers, valets, etc., who change completely by taking over the thinking and demeanor of the ruling class and 
often, in order to hide their modest origins, even exaggerate them. 

This identification with the authorities, the firm, the state, the nation, etc., which can be expressed by the 
formula, "/ am the authority, the firm, the state, the nation," is a potent psychological reality and one of the best 
illustrations of an ideology which has become a material force. At first the employee or official only has the ideal 
of becoming like his boss, but gradually, under the influence of the chronic material dependence, his being 
actually changes in the direction of the ruling stratum. Always looking above himself, the middle class individual 
develops a divergence 

2 By "identification" psychoanalysis means the fact that a person begins to feel one with another, takes over characteristics and attitudes of the other person, 
and takes in phantasy the place of the other person. By this process, the individual who identifies himself with another person undergoes an actual change, in 
that he "introjects," takes up, the characteristics of the other person. 

[40] between his economic position and his ideology. He lives in straitened circumstances but keeps up 
appearances, often to a ridiculous degree. He feeds himself poorly but invests in "decent clothing." The silk hat 
and the Prince Albert coat became the material symbol of this character structure. Few things are, at first glance, 
more characteristic of a population than its clothing. The attitude of "Keeping up with the Joneses" specifically 
distinguishes the middle class structure from that of the industrial worker. 3 

How deep is this identification with authority? That such an identification exists has long been a well-known 
fact. The question is, however, in what manner emotional factors — superimposed on the immediate economic 
conditions — give a solid basis to this middle-class structure to such an extent that it stands firm even in times of 
crisis, at a time when unemployment destroys the immediate economic base. 

We have said that the economic position of the various strata of the middle classes varies, while their family 
situation is essentially the same. This family situation is the emotional foundation of the structure just described. 


The family situation of the various strata of the middle classes is, to begin with, not separated from their 
economic position. The family is — except for the employees and officials — identical with the small economic 
enterprise. The family members work in the small business; this saves the hiring of expensive help. On the farm, 
the identity of family and mode of production is even more complete. The close interweaving of family and 
economy is the reason why the agricultural population is "bound to the soil," why it is "traditional" and thus so 
accessible to the influence of political reaction. It is not merely the economic situation which creates these "ties to 
the soil" and this traditionalism; rather, the mode of production requires a strict familial attachment of all family 
members to one another, and this attachment presupposes a far- 

3 This is true of Europe. In America, the middle-class character of the industrial workers obliterates this distinction. 

[41]reaching sexual suppression and repression. Only the combination of these two factors creates the typical 
peasant thinking the center of which is patriarchal sexual morality. The difficulties which the Soviet government 
encountered in the collectivization of agriculture were due not to the "love of the soil" but essentially to the 
authoritarian family ties which result from the agricultural mode of production. 

For one thing, the possibility of preserving a healthy peasant class as a foundation for a whole nation can never be valued highly 
enough. Many of our present-day sufferings are only the consequence of the unhealthy relationship between rural and city 
population. A solid stock of small and middle peasants has at all times been the best defense against social ills such as we possess 
today. And, moreover, this is the only solution which enables a nation to earn its daily bread within the inner circuit of its economy. 
Industry and commerce recede from their unhealthy leading position and adjust themselves to the general framework of a national 
economy of balanced supply and demand. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 138) 

This was Hitler's point of view. It does not matter that it is nonsensical from the standpoint of economics or that 
the political reaction will never succeed in stopping the development of mechanized farming with its danger to 
the small farmer. Its mass-psychological propaganda value is, nevertheless, enormous because of its appeal to the 
compulsive familial structure of the middle class. 

The close relationship between family attachment and agricultural mode of production inevitably found its 
expression in National Socialist measures. Since the Hitler movement was basically a middle-class movement, 
one of its first steps to win over the middle strata was the edict concerning the New Order of Agricultural 
Ownership of May 12, 1933. This edict went back to age-old forms and concepts such as the "inexorable tie of 
blood and soil." A few typical excerpts will make this clear: 

The inexorable tie between blood and soil is the indispensable pre-[42]requisite of the healthy life of a people. The agricultural 
legislation of past centuries in Germany safeguarded this tie which exists in the natural feeling for life of the people. The farmstead 
was the unsaleable heritage of the ancestral farm family. Later, foreign laws came in and destroyed the legal basis of this custom. 
Most German farmers, with their healthy feeling for the basis of their country's life, nevertheless retained the custom of handing 
down their farm, intact, from generation to generation. 

It is the imperative duty of the government of an awakening nation to secure the inexorable tie between blood and soil by the 
institution of a law regulating the right of succession. 

The inheritance of a hereditary farm (Erbhof) which is registered in the local district court takes place according to the 
Anerbenrecht. The owner of an Erbhof is called farmer. A farmer has only one Erbhof. He has only one child which can take over 
the Erbhof. This child is the Anerbe. The other heirs are supported by the farm until such time as they reach economic independence. 
If they become needy through no fault of their own, they still can take refuge on the farm. If the farm is not registered, the right of 
succession takes place according to the Anerbenrecht. 

An Erbhof can be owned only by a farmer who is a German citizen and of German blood. Nobody is of German blood who has 
among his male ancestors, or among his other ancestors for four generations back, a person of Jewish or colored origin. It goes 
without saying, however, that every Teuton is, in the sense of this law, a German. Marriage with a person not of German blood will 
deprive the children of such marriage of the right to own an Erbhof. 

The purpose of this law is that of protecting the farms against heavy indebtedness and harmful splitting up through inheritance, and 
of maintaining them enduringly as the heritage of free farm families. At the same time, it intends to effect a healthy distribution of 
agricultural property. A great number of well-functioning small and medium farms, distributed as equally as possible over the whole 
nation, is necessary to maintain the health of the people and the state. 

What tendencies are expressed in this law? It was in conflict with the interests of the large landowners whose 
aim was the absorption of the small and medium-sized farms. This conflict, however, was more than outweighed 
by a second potent interest [43] of the large landowners, that of maintaining the agricultural middle class which 
was the mass basis of their power. Not only does the small farmer identify himself with the large landowner in the 
sense of being a private owner of land. What is more important is that the continued existence of small and 
medium-size farms guarantees the continued existence of the typical patriarchal atmosphere of the family which 
is identical with the economic unit. This type of family produces the best Nationalist fighters and changes the 
women structurally in the direction of the Nationalist ideology. This is the basis of the famous "moral value of a 
healthy peasantry." The problem is, however, a sex-economic problem. 

The interweaving of individualistic production and authoritarian family in the middle classes is one of the 
sources of the fascist ideology of the "family with many children." We shall meet this problem again in another 

The alignment of the small economic units one against the other is reflected in the alignment of the families 
against one another and the competition between them. These phenomena are characteristic of the lower middle 
classes, in spite of the fascist slogans of the "corporate idea." The basic elements of fascist ideology are 
individualistic principles, such as the "Fiihrer principle," family politics, etc. What is collectivistic in fascism 
derives from the socialist tendencies in its mass basis, while the individualistic elements derive from the interests 
of high finance and the fascist leadership. 

In view of the natural organization of humanity, such an economic and familial situation could not continue to 
exist unless its existence were safeguarded by other basic elements. One of the most important among them is the 
patriarchal relationship between man and wife and a specific kind of sexual living. 

In trying to distinguish himself from the manual worker, the lower middle class individual can do so only in the 
forms of his sexual and family life, since his economic position is no better than that of the industrial worker. He 
compensates for what he lacks economically by way of sexual morality. This is the official's [44] strongest 
motive for his identification with state authority. Since one does not enjoy the economic position of the upper 
middle classes but at the same time identifies oneself ideologically with them, the sexual moral ideologies must 
make up for the economic deprivations. The forms of sexual and, with that, of cultural living, serve mainly the 
purpose of snobbish distinction from the "lower" strata. 

The sum total of these moralistic attitudes — the core of which is the attitude toward sexuality — expresses itself 
in ideas — ideas, not behavior — of honor and duty. The effect of these two words on the lower middle class is 
enormous and deserves the closest attention. They also constantly recur in the fascist ideology of dictatorship and 
race. In practice, everyday middle class existence and middle class business produce precisely the opposite 
behavior. In private trading, a bit of dishonesty is part of existence. When a peasant buys a horse, he will 
depreciate it in every way possible. When he sells the same horse a year later, it has become younger and better. 
"Duty" is based on business interest and not on national character. One's own wares will always be the best, that 
of the other fellow always inferior. Depreciation of the competitor, rarely an honest act, is an essential tool of 
"business." The overpoliteness and deference to the customer on the part of small business people show the brutal 
compulsion of economic existence which in the long run must warp even the best of characters. In spite of this, 
the concepts of "honor" and "duty" play a dominant role in the lower middle classes. This cannot be explained on 
purely economic grounds. For in spite of all hypocrisy, the depth of feeling connected with these concepts is 
genuine. The question is its source. The analysis of the lower middle class individual leaves no doubt about the 
connection between his sexual life and his ideology of "honor" and "duty." 

The father's economic position as well as his position in the state are reflected in his patriarchal relationship with 
the other members of the family. The authoritarian state has a representative in every family, the father; in this 
way he becomes the state's most valuable tool. 

[45] The father's authoritarian position reflects his political role and discloses the relationship of family and 
authoritarian state. The same position which the boss holds in the production process, the father maintains in the 
family. He in turn reproduces submissiveness to authority in his children, especially his sons. This is the basis of 
the passive, submissive attitude of middle class individuals toward Fiihrer figures. Without really knowing it, 
Hitler built upon this attitude of the lower middle classes: 

The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitude that sober reasoning determines their thoughts 
and actions far less than emotion and feeling. 

And this sentiment is not complicated, but very simple and all of a piece. It does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a 
negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie, never half this way and half that way, never partially, or that kind of thing. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 183) 

It is not a matter of being that way "by nature" but of being a typical example of the reproduction of an 
authoritarian social system in the structures of its members. 

For the patriarchal position of the father requires the strictest sexual inhibition on the part of the women and 
children. Under lower middle class influence, the women develop an attitude of resignation which covers up 
repressed sexual rebellion; the sons develop, in addition to a submissive attitude toward authority, a strong 
identification with the father which later becomes identification with any kind of authority. It will remain a 
mystery for some time to come as to how the psychic structures of the decisive stratum of society fit the 
economic system and the purposes of the powers that be like the parts of a watch. What we are describing as the 
mass-psychological structural reproduction of the economic system is the basic mechanism of the formation of 

political ideologies. 

The attitude of economic and social competition becomes a factor in the development of middle class structure 
only at a very late stage. The reactionary ideologies which are then formed are [46] built up secondarily on 
psychological processes which take place in the infant when it is growing up in the authoritarian family 
atmosphere. There we find, to begin with, competition between the children and the adults, and between the 
children among themselves in relation to the parents. This competition, which in adults and in extrafamilial life is 
predominantly economic, takes place in the framework of the highly emotional family relationships of love and 
hatred. This is not the place to discuss these in detail. What is important here is the following: the sexual 
inhibitions which constitute the prerequisite of the continued existence of the authoritarian family and the 
essential basis of the structure of the lower middle class individual are brought about with the aid of religious 
fears which thus become sexual guilt feelings and deeply anchored. This leads to the problem of the connection 
between religion and denial of sexual pleasure. Sexual weakness undermines self-confidence; compensation is 
effected by rigid character traits or brutal sexual behavior. The necessity for sexual self-control, for maintenance 
of sexual repression, leads to the development of compulsive, emotionally highly charged ideas of honor, duty, 
courage and self-control. 4 The compulsiveness and emotional charge of these ideas, however, is in strange 
contrast to the actual behavior. The genitally gratified individual is honest, conscientious, courageous and self- 
controlled, without making any fuss about it. These attitudes are organic parts of his personality. The individual 
with a weakened genitality and a contradictory sexual structure, on the other hand, must incessantly remind 
himself to control his sexuality, to preserve his sexual honor, to fight temptations courageously, etc. Every child 
and adolescent goes through the struggle against the temptation to masturbate. In this struggle, all elements of the 
reactionary human structure develop. In the lower middle classes, this structure is most strongly developed and 
most deeply anchored. This compulsive suppression of sexuality provides mysticism, of whatever kind, with its 
energy and also with some of its contents. To the 

4 Particularly instructive in showing these connections is a book by the National Socialist, Ernst Mann, Dm Moral der Kraft. 

[47] extent to which the industrial workers are under the same social influences, they also develop the 
corresponding attitudes; due to their different way of living, however, they develop opposite, sex- affirmative 
attitudes to a far higher degree. The emotional anchoring of these structures by means of unconscious anxiety and 
their masking by apparently asexual character traits make it impossible for one to reach these deep layers of the 
personality with intellectual arguments. The importance of this fact for a practical sex policy will be discussed in 
Chapter VIII. 

We cannot discuss here in detail the significance of the unconscious fight against the individual sexual demands 
for the breeding of metaphysical and mystical thinking. We shall only mention one aspect which is characteristic 
of National Socialist ideology. Again and again one finds the series, personal honor, family honor, race honor, 
national honor. This series is consistent with the series of stages in individual structure formation. But it should 
include the socio-economic background patriarchy, compulsive marriage, sexual aggression, personal fight 
against one's sexuality, compensatory idea of honor, etc. The last in the series is the ideology of "national honor." 
It is the irrational core of National Socialism. Its comprehension requires a further preliminary consideration. 

The fight of authoritarian society against the sexuality of children and adolescents takes place in the framework 
of the authoritarian family which thus far has proven the best institution for this fight. By their very nature, sexual 
needs impel contacts of various kinds in the world. If they are suppressed, they can express themselves only 
within the narrow framework of the family. Sexual inhibition is the basis of the familial incapsulation of the 
individuals as well as the basis of an individualistic ideology. Metaphysical, individualistic and familial 
sentimental behavior are only different aspects of one and the same process, sex negation. Realistic, non-mystical 
thinking on the other hand, go with loose family ties and, to say the least, indifference toward ascetic sexual 
ideologies. The important point is that sexual inhibition is a means of producing a fixation to the authoritarian 

family; that it turns an original biological tie of the child to the mother — and [48] of the mother to the child — into 
an indissoluble sexual fixation and thus creates the inability to establish new relationships. 5 The core of the 
family tie is the mother fixation. The subjective, emotional core of the ideas of homeland and nation are ideas of 
mother and family. The mother is the homeland of the child, as the family is its "nation in miniature." Thus one 
understands why the National Socialist, Goebbels, took the following as a motto for his Ten Commandments, in 
the National Socialist Volkskalender for 1932: "The homeland is the mother of your life, don't ever forget it." The 
Angriff wrote on the occasion of Mother's Day in 1933: 

MOTHER'S DAY. The national revolution has blown away everything that is petty. Ideas are leading again and are leading us 
together, family, society, nation. The idea of Mother's Day will honor that which signifies the German idea: The German Mother! 
Nowhere has the woman and mother as important a role as in the new Germany. It is she who preserves the family life from which 
spring the forces which will lead our nation ahead again. She, the German mother, is the sole bearer of the German national idea. 
The idea of "mother" will always be the same as "being German. " What could unite us more strongly than the idea of honoring the 

As untrue as these sentences are, economically and socially speaking, they are correct with regard to human 
structure. Nationalist feeling is the direct continuation of family attachment and, like the latter, is based on the 
unconscious, deeply anchored mother fixation. This cannot be explained biologically. For this mother fixation 
itself is a social product. The attachment to the mother would be replaced at puberty by other attachments, for 
example, by natural sexual relationships, if it were not made permanent by the general suppression of natural love 
life. Only this socially caused perpetuation makes it the basis for nationalist feeling in the adult and makes it a 
reactionary social force. The fact that the industrial workers develop nationalist attitudes to a 

5 The "Oedipus complex" discovered by Freud, then, is not so much the cause as the result of the social inhibition of infantile sexuality. The parents, however, 
quite unconsciously execute the intentions of society. 

[49] much lesser degree is to be ascribed to the difference in their family situation. 

This statement by no means implies a biologizing of sociology. For we do not forget for a moment that the 
difference in the industrial worker's family situation is itself conditioned by his position in the production process. 
One must ask oneself why it is that the industrial workers are especially accessible to internationalism while the 
lower middle class tends equally strongly to nationalism. Only the inclusion of the specific family situation in its 
dependence on the economic process explains this. The Marxist theorists display a peculiar aversion to 
considering the family situation as a factor which is equally as important as the economic factors in the formation 
of structure; more than that, it is the decisive factor for the anchoring of the social system in the psychic structure. 
This aversion is caused by their own family attachments. The fact that the family fixation is the most intensive 
and most highly emotionally charged cannot be overestimated. 6 

The basic identity of familial and of nationalist ideology goes further. The families are set against each other 
precisely as are the nations. In either case, the ultimate basis lies in economic motives. The lower middle class 
family is always under the pressure of economic worries. The economic tendency to expansion on the part of the 
lower middle class family with many children thus reproduces the imperialist ideology of the "Lebensraum" of 
the nation. This is why the lower middle class individual is so easily accessible to imperialist ideology. He tends 
to identify 

6 He who has not overcome his fixation on family and mother, or is not able at least to exclude it from his judgment, should not engage in the study of 
ideology formation. Brushing these facts aside by calling them "Freudian" betrays scientific cretinism. Talking without knowing the facts is not scientific 
argumentation. Freud discovered the Oedipus complex. Without this discovery there could be no revolutionary family politics. But Freud is as far from a 
sociological interpretation of the family fixation as the mechanistic economist from a comprehension of sexuality as a social factor. To deny facts which every 
worker knew even before Freud discovered the Oedipus complex, instead of pointing out a possible erroneous application of natural science, is inadmissible. 
Fascism cannot be overcome with slogans but only with knowledge. Errors occur and can be corrected, but scientific narrow-mindedness is reactionary. 

[50] himself fully with a personified nation. In this way, state imperialism reproduces itself in family imperialism. 
In this connection, it is interesting to see what Goebbels writes (in DIE VERFLUCHTEN HAKENKREUZLER) in 
answer to the question whether the Jews are humans: 

If somebody hits your mother in the face with a whip, are you going to say, thank you? Is he human? He is not human, he is a 
beast! How many worse things has the Jew done to our mother Germany [italics mine, W.R.] and is he still doing! He has spoiled 
our race, he has undermined our morality and has sapped our strength . . . The Jew is the personified demon of decay ... he begins 
his criminal butchery of the nations. 

One cannot properly judge the effect of such sentences on the unconscious emotional life of the mass reader 
unless one knows the significance of the idea of castration as punishment for sexual wishes; the sex- 
psychological background of the phantasies of ritual murders and of antisemitism in general; and the magnitude 
of the sexual guilt feelings and the sexual anxiety of the reactionary individual. Here are the psychological roots 
of National Socialist antisemitism. Could this be called "just obfuscation of the masses"? True, it is obfuscation 
also. But the fact should not be overlooked that fascism, ideologically, is the revolt of a deathly sick society, sick 
sexually as well as economically. It is the revolt against the painful and forceful tendencies of revolutionary 
thinking in the direction of sexual as well as economic freedom. The very thought of this freedom makes the 
reactionary individual tremble with fear. The establishment of economic freedom of the working people goes 
hand in hand with the dissolution of the old institutions, especially the sexual ones, a process of which the 
reactionary individual is afraid. Specifically, the fear of "sexual freedom" — which in reactionary thinking is 
represented as "sexual chaos" — checks the longing for freedom from economic exploitation. This will be so as 
long, but only as long, as this idea of the sexual chaos prevails. It can continue to prevail only as long as [51] 
these decisive problems remain unclarified in the masses. This is why sex-economy belongs in the center of any 
endeavor to regulate social conditions in general. The more extensive and the deeper the reactionary structure 
formation of the masses, the more decisive is the sex-economic work on the education of the masses in social 

In this interplay between economic and structural facts, the authoritarian family stands out as the most important 
place where reactionary thinking of any kind is reproduced: it is the factory of reactionary ideology and structure. 
The "preservation of the family," that is, of the reactionary family with many children, is therefore the primordial 
cultural tenet of reactionary politics. This is what hides behind the slogan of the "protection of the state, of culture 
and of civilization." 

In a proclamation before the Presidential election in 1932 (Adolf Hitler: Mein Programm) we read the 

Woman, by nature and by fate, is the life companion of man. They are not only life companions but also work companions. Just as 
the economic development over thousands of years changed the fields of work for the man, so it did for the woman. But higher than 
the compulsion of working together is the duty to preserve the race. In this, the most noble mission of the sexes, lie their individual 
and unalterable differences which Providence in its eternal wisdom gave them. The highest task, therefore, is that of making possible 
for the two life and work companions the founding of a family. The, final destruction of the family would mean the end of any higher 
form of humanity. No matter how far the woman's field of activity may be extended, the ultimate goal of a truly organic and logical 
development must always be the formation of the family. It is the smallest but most valuable unit in the whole structure of the state. 
Work honors the woman as it does the man. But the child raises the woman to nobility. 

In the same proclamation, under the heading, "Preservation of the peasantry means preservation of the German 
nation," Hitler stated: 

[52] In the preservation and maintenance of a healthy peasantry I see the best protection against social ills as well as against the 
racial degeneration of our nation. 

In this connection, one has to remember the traditional family fixation among the peasantry. Hitler goes on to 


I believe that a nation, in order to increase its resistance, should not live according to principles of reason alone. It also needs a 
spiritual and religious hold. The poisoning and disintegration of the national body by our Kulturbolschewismus are almost more 
disastrous even than the effect of political and economic Communism. 

Since, like Italian fascism, the National Socialist party took its origin from the interests of the large landowners, 
it had to win over the masses of small farmers as a mass basis for its movement. Naturally, it could not emphasize 
the interests of the large landowners in its propaganda, but had to appeal to the structure of the peasants, a 
structure as it develops from the identity of economic and familial existence. Only in this stratum of the lower 
middle classes is it true that man and wife are work companions. It is not true among the industrial workers. Even 
with the peasants it is true only in a formal sense, for in reality the peasant woman is the domestic servant of the 
peasant. The fascist ideology of the hierarchic structure of the state is preformed in reality in the hierarchic 
structure of the farm family. The farm family is a nation in miniature and every member of the farm is identified 
with this miniature nation. The soil for the acceptance of the imperialist ideology, then, is given in the peasantry 
and wherever in the lower middle classes economic unit and family are identical. We are struck by the 
idealization of motherhood. What is the connection between this idealization and reactionary sexual politics? 


In the mass-psychological structure of the lower middle class individual, national and family fixation are 
identical. This fixation [53] is intensified by another process. The Nationalist Fiihrer means, to the masses, the 
personification of the nation. A personal fixation on him develops only to the extent to which he actually 
personifies the nation in terms of the nationalistic feeling of the masses. If he knows how to arouse the familial 
fixation in the mass individual he also becomes an authoritarian father figure. He becomes the object of all the 
emotional attitudes which the mass individual, as a child, had toward the protecting and — in the child's 
thinking — representative father. In discussing the untenability of the contradictory program of the NSDAP with 
National Socialist followers, one heard again and again the argument that Hitler knew all these things much 
better, that "he would do it all." Here we see clearly the infantile leaning on paternal protection. It is this attitude 
of blind trust and of seeking protection on the part of the masses which gives the dictators the power to "do it all." 
This attitude is at variance with social self-determination, with rational independence and cooperation. No 
genuine democracy should try to build on this. 

Even more important, however, is the identification of the mass individual with the "Fiihrer." The more helpless 
the individual was made by his upbringing, the more strongly does he identify himself with the Fiihrer, the more 
does the infantile helplessness take the form of the feeling-one-with-the-Fuhrer. This tendency to identification is 
the psychological basis of national narcissism, that is, of a self-confidence based on identification with the 
"greatness of the nation." The reactionary middle class individual believes he discovers himself in the Fiihrer, in 
the authoritarian state. On the basis of this identification, he feels himself the defender of "the nation," even 
though, on the basis of this very identification, he despises "the masses" toward whom he has an individualistic 
attitude. His economic and sexual misery is drowned out by the exalting idea of "Herrentum" and of the genius of 
the Fiihrer; it makes him forget to what extent he has become an insignificant, uncritical follower. 

In contrast, the professionally conscious worker identifies himself with his work instead of the Fiihrer, with the 
international [54] totality of working individuals and not with the national homeland. He feels himself a leader, 
not on the basis of an identification but on the basis of doing vital, socially necessary work. 

It is not difficult to see what causes this difference. The emotions in this opposite mass-psychological type are 
the same as in the nationalist. But the content is different. The need for identification is the same, but its object is 
the fellow worker instead of the Fiihrer, the work instead of the illusion, the working individuals of the earth 
instead of the family. It is a matter of international professional consciousness versus mysticism and nationalism. 

The self-confidence of the worker is not based on his identification with illusory concepts but on his identification 
with his work. 

The past fifteen years have confronted us with a fact which is difficult to understand: Economically, society is 
sharply divided into various social strata and professions. According to economistic concepts, social ideology 
derives from the respective social position. If that were so, the ideological strata would always correspond to the 
socio-economic strata; the industrial workers as a whole would develop more collectivism, the small tradespeople 
more individualism. The employees of large concerns would have a collective feeling similar to that of the 
industrial workers. As we have already seen, structure and social position are rarely concordant. We distinguish 
the professionally conscious, responsible worker from the nationalistically mystical reactionary subject. Both 
types are seen in any social or professional group. There are millions of reactionary industrial workers, and there 
are as many work-conscious revolutionary teachers and physicians. In other words, there is no such thing as a 
mechanistic relationship between social position and character structure. 

The social position is no more than the external factor in the determination of the ideological process in the mass 
individual. What remains to be investigated is the emotional force which causes the various social factors to attain 
exclusive dominance in the psychological structure. It certainly is not hunger, otherwise the economic world crisis 
of 1929 to 1933 would have led to international revolution. As much as this finding conflicts with well- 
established economistic concepts, it cannot be doubted. 

[55] When sociologically limited psychologists explain the social revolution by the "infantile rebellion against 
the father" they are thinking of revolutionaries in intellectual circles. In them, this is indeed the decisive motive. 
But the same is not true of the industrial workers. The suppression of the children by the fathers is no less 
pronounced among the workers, it is often even more brutal. This is not the difference. The difference lies in their 
different attitude toward sexuality. True, the parents among the industrial workers also suppress infantile 
sexuality. But among the lower middle classes, there is only suppression of sexuality. Among the industrial 
workers, things are different. They show, along with their moralistic ideology, their own sexual attitudes which 
are strictly opposed to the moralistic ones. The difference in housing and the collective work life of the factory 
are further factors which tend to counteract a moralistic sexual ideology. 

The average industrial worker differs from the average middle-class individual by his open and matter-of-fact 
attitude toward sexuality. He is incomparably more accessible to sex-economic concepts than the typical middle- 
class individual. What makes him more accessible is the absence of precisely those attitudes which play a central 
role in the ideology of National Socialism and of the church: the identification with the authoritarian state power, 
the "supreme Fiihrer," the nation. This is further proof that the basic elements of National Socialist ideology have 
a sex-economic origin. 

The peasantry, due to its individualistic economy and marked familial isolation, is very accessible to reactionary 
political ideology. This is the reason for the divergence between its social position and its ideology. In spite of 
strictest patriarchy and the corresponding morality, the peasantry develops a natural — though 
distorted — sexuality. As among the industrial workers, its youth starts having sexual intercourse at an early age, 
but as a result of the strict patriarchal education sexuality is disturbed or brutal; the sex life is clandestine; 
frigidity among the girls is the rule; sex murders, brutal jealousy and subjugation of the woman are typical 
phenomena among the peasantry. Hysteria is nowhere as preva-[56]lent as out in the country. Peasant economy 
makes patriarchal marriage the ultimate goal of education. 

Among the industrial workers, an ideological process has been taking place during the past few decades which 
one can observe in pure culture in the workers' aristocracy but which did not spare the average industrial worker. 
The industrial workers of the 20th century are no longer the proletariat of the 19th century of which Marx speaks. 
They have essentially taken over the forms of living and the attitudes of the middle class. True, formal democracy 
has not eliminated economic class distinctions any more than race prejudices. But the social endeavors which 
took place within its framework obliterated the structural and ideological boundaries between the various social 
strata. The industrial workers of England, America, Scandinavia, and Germany took on more and more a middle- 

class character. In order to understand the manner in which fascism penetrates the workers' stratum one has to 
follow this process in its various stages from formal democracy to openly fascist dictatorship. 


Fascism penetrates the stratum of the industrial workers from two sides: the so-called "Lumpenproletariat" (a 
revolting expression) by means of direct economic corruption, and the so-called "worker's aristocracy" by means 
of material corruption as well as by ideological influence. German fascism unscrupulously promised everything 
to everybody. Dr. Jarmer, in an article entitled "Kapitalismus" (Angriff, Sept. 24, 1931) wrote the following: 

On the German National party day in Stettin, Hugenberg took an admirably clear stand against international capitalism. But at the 
same time he emphasized the necessity of a national capitalism. 

In doing so, he made again clear what separates the German Nationals from the National Socialists; for the latter clearly realize that 
the capitalist order which is in a state of collapse all over the world must be replaced by a different order, because even in national 
capitalism there can be no justice. 

[57] This sounds almost Communistic. Here, the fascist propagandist appealed to the revolutionary feeling of the 
industrial worker, consciously and with fraudulous intent. The question was why the National Socialist industrial 
workers did not see that fascism promised everything to everybody. It was well known that Hitler negotiated with 
the captains of industry, received financial support from them and promised them anti-strike legislation. 
Obviously, there was something in the structure of the average worker which made him overlook such 
contradictions, in spite of the intensive propaganda of revolutionary organizations. In talking with the American 
journalist Knickerbocker, Hitler said with regard to the recognition of private debts to foreign countries: 

I am convinced that the international bankers will soon realize that Germany under National Socialism is a safe place for 
investment, that an interest rate of about three per cent will be readily granted. 

("Deutschland so oder so," p. 21 1) 

If the task of revolutionary propaganda was that of "defogging the proletariat," this could not be done merely by 
appealing to its "class consciousness," nor by keeping the subjective economic and political situation constantly 
before their eyes, nor simply by unmasking the fraud that was being perpetrated on them. The primordial task of 
revolutionary propaganda should have been that of comprehending the inner contradictions in the worker, the 
fact not that the worker had a clear-cut revolutionary will which may have been covered up or "befogged," but, 
rather, that the revolutionary element in his psychic structure was partly underdeveloped, partly counteracted by 
opposite reactionary elements in his structure. The crystallizing out of the revolutionary elements in the masses is 
the prime task in the process of liberating their social responsibility. 

In times of "quiet" formal democracy, the industrial worker has, in principle, two possibilities open to him: 
identification with the middle class above him, or identification with his own social [58] position which gives 
birth to forms of living of its own which are contrary to the reactionary forms. The first means envying and 
imitating the reactionary and — given the economic opportunities — completely adopting his way of living. The 
second means refuting the ideologies and forms of living of the reactionary and emphasizing one's own. Due to 
the simultaneous influence of both the social and the class living, there is an equally strong pull in either 
direction. The revolutionary movement also underestimated the significance of the seemingly unimportant small 
habits of everyday living; more than that, it made the wrong use of it. The middle-class bedroom which the 
"proletarian" acquires at the first opportunity even though he may be Communist; the suppression of the woman 
which goes with it; "decent" clothes on a Sunday; stilted forms of dancing; these and thousands of other little 
things, in their everyday repetition, have an incomparably more powerful reactionary influence than can be 
counteracted by thousands of revolutionary meetings and pamphlets. The impact of a narrow reactionary life is 
continuous and fills every cranny of everyday living; the factory work and the pamphlet have an effect only for 

hours. To try to "reach the masses" by arranging festivities was, therefore, a miscalculation, because it appealed 
to the conservative tendencies in the workers. In such methods, reactionary fascism was far more successful. The 
budding revolutionary forms of living were not being developed. The "evening dress" which a worker's wife put 
on for such a "festivity" contained more truth about the reactionary structure of the worker than hundreds of 
learned articles. The evening dress and the family beer parties are, after all, only the external manifestations of a 
structural process in the worker, a sign that the soil was already prepared for the acceptance of National Socialist 
propaganda. When the Fascist then promised "abolition of the proletariat" and was successful in such propaganda, 
his success, in ninety out of a hundred cases, was due not to his economic platform but to the "evening dress." 
These aspects of everyday living deserve much more attention. It is they that form, in a concrete manner, the 
social process, be it progress or reaction, and not the [59] political slogans which create only a fleeting 
enthusiasm. Here waits a field for fruitful and important work. The revolutionary mass propaganda in Germany 
was restricted almost exclusively to the propaganda "against hunger." As important as this argument is, it proved 
too narrow. The youthful worker, for example, has innumerable worries of a sexual and cultural nature as soon as 
he has stilled his hunger to a degree. True, the fight against hunger is of primary importance, but the backstage 
processes of human life must also be ruthlessly placed in the spotlight of the comedy in which we are both 
spectators and actors. 

If that were done the working people would show themselves infinitely creative in their attempt to develop their 
own concepts and their own natural forms of living. No matter how infested they might be with reactionary 
attitudes, social comprehension of their everyday life would give them an invincible impetus. Detailed and 
concrete work on this problem is imperative; it will safeguard the victory of the revolution. To object that such a 
proposition is an illusion means failure to grasp the problem. This fight for the development of work-democratic 
living means a militant turning away from what is reactionary and the development of a mass culture which alone 
will guarantee lasting peace. As long as social irresponsibility outweighs social responsibility in the worker he 
will hardly learn revolutionary, that is, rational behavior. This mass-psychological work, furthermore, is 
indispensable for still another reason. 

The debasement of manual work — which makes the manual worker ape the reactionary white-collar worker — is 
the mass-psychological strength of fascism when it tries to reach the workers. Fascism promises the abolition of 
classes, that is, doing away with one's being a proletarian; in this manner, it appeals to the social inferiority 
feeling of the manual worker. Workers which have only recently migrated from the country to the city still have 
the family ideology of the peasant, which, as we have shown, is one of the most fertile soils for imperialistic 
nationalist ideology. There is, in addition, an ideological process which thus far has been neglected in judging the 
chances of the revolutionary move-[60]ment in countries with a high industrial development on the one hand and 
those with a low industrial development on the other. 

Kautsky (SOZIALE REVOLUTION, 2. Aufl, p. 59-60) found that the worker in highly industrialized England was 
politically backward compared with the worker in industrially little developed Russia. The political events of the 
past thirty years the world over leave no doubt that revolutionary movements develop more readily in countries 
with a low industrial development as is shown, e.g., by a comparison of China, Mexico, and India on the one 
hand and England, America, and Germany on the other. This in spite of an older, better trained and organized 
labor movement in the last mentioned countries. Leaving out of consideration the bureaucratization of the labor 
movement — which in itself is a pathological symptom — one must ask oneself what is the reason for the 
extraordinary anchoring of conservatism in the Social Democracy and the trade unions of the Western countries. 
The mass -psychological basis of Social Democracy is the conservative structure of its followers. As in fascism, 
the problem is not so much one of the politics of the party leadership as one of the mass-psychological basis in 
the workers. I shall point out only a few significant facts: 

In early capitalism, there was not only a sharp cleavage line between bourgeoisie and proletariat but an equally 
sharp ideological, in especial, structural demarcation. The lack of any social politics, the exhausting workday of 
sixteen or eighteen hours, the generally low living standard of the industrial workers (as classically described by 

Engels in his Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England) — all these things prevented a structural adaptation of the 
proletariat to the bourgeoisie. The structure of the proletarian of the 19th century was characterized by humble 
submission to his fate. The mass-psychological characteristic of this proletariat, the peasantry included, was 
indolence. Middle-class thinking was absent. This indolence did not prevent revolutionary feelings, on 
appropriate occasions, from breaking into the open with unexpected intensity and determination. 

In late capitalism, however, things became different. The [61] workers movement had made certain gains such 
as shorter hours, the right to vote, social security, etc. This meant, on the one hand, a strengthening of the 
working class. At the same time it had an opposite effect: the raising of the living standard led to a structural 
adaptation to the middle classes. In times of prosperity this middle class adaptation was intensified; in ensuing 
economic crises, it acted as an inhibition of a further development of revolutionary feeling. 

The strength of the Social Democracies during the years of the crises — which cannot be explained on political 
grounds — was the expression of this conservative infestation of the workers. This has two main reasons: the 
Fiihrer fixation, that is, the unshakeable belief in the infallibility of the political leader; 7 and the sex-moralistic 
adaptation to the conservative lower middle class. The upper middle class helped this adaptation along as best it 
could. While in its beginning it had literally used the stick, it now held it in reserve in the countries which were 
not yet fascist and used it only against the revolutionary worker. For the mass of the Social Democratic workers, 
however, it had a far more dangerous weapon: the use of conservative ideology. 

When the Social-Democratic worker found himself in the economic crisis which degraded him to a coolie, the 
development of his revolutionary feelings was inhibited by the conservative structure which had been cultivated 
in him for decades. Either he remained in the Social-Democratic party, in spite of all his criti- 

7 In the summer of 1932, after a meeting in Leipzig, I talked with Social-Democratic workers who had attended it, about the political crisis. They agreed with 
all the arguments brought forth against the Social-Democratic propaganda on the "way to Socialism," but otherwise did not differ from Communist workers. I 
asked one of them why they did not draw the consequences and separate from their leaders. The answer amazed me: "Our leaders know what they are doing." 
Here was the conflict of the Social-Democratic worker in a tangible form: the fixation on the Fiihrer, which kept the worker from translating his 
criticism — which he did not lack — into action. It was a mistake, then, to try to win the Social-Democratic worker by attacking his leaders. As he was identified 
with them, such attacks would only repulse him. The inner rottenness of German Social Democracy showed itself when, shortly before Hitler's seizure of 
power, a few armed men arrested Severing, the Social-Democratic Minister of the Interior. There were twelve million Social Democrats, but they did not 
prevent it. 

[62]cism and rebellion. Or, oscillating between his revolutionary and his conservative feelings, and disillusioned 
by Social-Democratic leadership, he followed the path of least resistance and switched to the NSDAP, hoping to 
find better leadership there. In this situation, it depended on the correct or incorrect mass leadership of the 
revolutionary party whether or not the worker would give up his conservative tendency and would develop the 
full consciousness of his responsibility in the production process, that is, his revolutionary consciousness. The 
Communist contention that it was Social-Democratic politics which had helped fascism come to power 
was — mass-psychologically — correct. Disillusionment in Social Democracy must, in the presence of a conflict 
between pauperization and conservative thinking, lead into the fascist camp if there are no effective revolutionary 
organizations. Thus there was, for example, a fascization of the workers in England after the fiasco of the Labor 
party in 1930-31; in the elections of 1931, the workers, instead of swinging to Communism, shifted to the right. 
Democratic Scandinavia, also, was threatened by such a development. 8 

Rosa Luxemburg contended that a revolutionary struggle with "coolies" was not possible. The question is which 
kind of coolie is meant: the coolie before he has acquired a conservative structure, or afterwards. Before this 
alteration of structure, there is an indolence which is difficult to break through, but there is also a great capacity 
for revolutionary action. After the alteration of structure, there is the disillusioned coolie. He is much less 
accessible to the revolution. How long will fascism be able to utilize for its own purposes the disillusionment of 
the masses in Social Democracy and their "rebellion again the system"? Though this question cannot be answered 
now, it is certain that the international revolutionary movement will have to take it into consideration if it is not to 

8 The collapse of Norway in 1940 was in no small part due to the same effect of Social-Democratic conservatism. The Social-Democratic government had, for 
example, prohibited the parading of military organizations. But in 1939 the Norwegian Fascists were the only ones who still marched through the streets and 
held training exercises. Quisling's betrayal was greatly helped by such "liberalism." 



The theoretical pivot of German fascism is its race theory. The economic program of the so-called twenty-five 
points plays no other role in fascist ideology than that of the means to an end: "The bettering of the German race 
and its protection against race mixture." Race mingling, according to the National Socialists, means not only the 
decline of the "higher race" but also the decline of culture. Therefore, "Keeping pure the race and the blood" is 
the primordial task of a nation and is worth any sacrifice. This theory was put into practice in every conceivable 
way in the form of the persecution of the Jews. 

The race theory is based on the premise of the "inexorable law of nature" that each animal copulates only with 
an animal of its own species. Only extraordinary circumstances, like captivity, can temporarily invalidate this law 
and lead to race mixture. Nature, however, takes revenge: it makes the resulting bastards or their progeny sterile. 
Any crossbreeding of two individuals of a "higher" with a "lower" race must result in something intermediate 
between the two. Nature, however, intends a higher development; thus bastardization is contrary to nature. The 
selection of the higher species is seen also in the daily struggle for a living, in which the weaker, that is, the 
racially inferior, individuals, succumb. This is the "will of nature," for every higher development would cease if 
the inferior races, who are a numerical majority, were to push aside the superior races who are a numerical 
minority. Nature submits the inferior races to more severe living conditions which keep down their members; 
among [64] the superior races, on the other hand, it does not permit indiscriminate procreation but demands a 
ruthless selection according to health and strength. 

This law, they say, also applies to nations. History shows that "blood mixture" of Aryans with "inferior" peoples 
always results in a decline of culture, in a decline of the physical and mental level of the "higher" race and the 
beginning of a progressive decay. 

"The Germanic inhabitant of the American continent, who has remained racially pure and unmixed," says Hitler, 
"rose to be master of the continent; he will remain the master as long as he does not fall victim to defilement of 
the blood," that is, as long as he does not mix with non-Germanic peoples. "To bring about such a development 
means nothing less than sinning against the will of the Eternal Creator" (MEIN KAMPF, p. 286). 

Such views are unequivocally mystical: nature "wills" and "regulates." They are the logical continuation of 
biological metaphysics. 

According to Hitler, humanity is divided into three kinds of races: those who establish culture, those who 
develop culture, and those who destroy culture. As founders of culture only the Aryans come into consideration, 
for they are responsible for "the foundation and the walls of human creation." The Asiatic peoples, like the 
Japanese 1 and Chinese, have only taken over Aryan cultures and developed them into their own cultures. The 
Jews, however, are a culture-destroying race. The existence of "lower races" was always the prerequisite of the 
formation of higher culture. The first human culture rested on the utilization of lower races. At first it was not the 
horse but the vanquished race which pulled the plow. The Aryans subjugated the lower races and subordinated 
them to their will. But as soon as the vanquished races learned the language and the way of living of the 
"masters," and the barrier between master and slave was lowered, the Aryan relinquished the purity of his blood 
and lost his "paradise." And 

1 Political irrationalism showed itself in the clearest form in the later military pact of the Ubermenschen with the Untermenschen. 

[65] with that, he lost his capacity for culture. We do not forget that Hitler represents the very flower of culture. 
He writes: 

Blood mixture and the resultant drop in the racial level is the sole cause of the dying out of old cultures; for men do not perish as a 
result of lost wars, but by the loss of that force of resistance which is contained only in pure blood. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 296) 

An objective refutation of this concept cannot be given here. This concept borrows an argument from Darwin's 
hypothesis of natural selection which, in many aspects, is as reactionary as Darwin's finding of the evolution of 
the higher species from lower organisms was revolutionary. This concept, furthermore, serves to camouflage the 
imperialistic function of fascist ideology. For if the Aryans are the only race which creates culture, it follows that 
they are predestined to rule the world. Indeed, one of Hitler's cardinal claims was the expansion of the German 
Reich, particularly "to the East," that is, in Soviet Russian territory. The glorification of imperialistic war, then, 
was part and parcel of this ideology: 

The aim for which we were fighting the War was the loftiest, the most overpowering, that man can conceive: it was the freedom 
and independence of our nation, the security of our future food supply, and — our national honor. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 177) 

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children 
and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfilment of the 
mission allotted them by the creator of the universe. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 214) 

What interests us here exclusively is the irrational origin of these ideologies which objectively correspond to the 
interests of German imperialism; in particular, the contradictions and ab- [66] surdities within the race theory. For 
example, the race theorists, in calling to witness a biological law, overlook the fact that the breeding of races in 
animals is an artifact. The question is not whether cat and dog have an "instinctive aversion" to mingling, but 
whether such a thing exists between Dobermans and greyhounds, or Germans and Slavonians. 

The race theorists, who are as old as imperialism, wish to create racial purity in peoples in whom mingling, as a 
result of the spread of world economy, has progressed to such an extent that racial purity no longer exists at all 
except in the brains of theorists. There is no sense in pointing out that not copulation according to races but 
promiscuous copulation within the same species is what actually takes place in nature. In this examination of the 
race theory — a theory which, instead of arriving from facts at valuations, distorts the facts — it is not a matter of 
its rational content. It would be useless to try to reach a Fascist, convinced as he is of the superiority of the 
German race, with arguments, if for no other reason because he does not operate with arguments but with 
irrational feelings. It would be useless to try to show him that a Negro or an Italian is not "racially inferior" to 
him. He feels himself the "Master Race," and that's that. 

There is only one way of invalidating the race theory: the elucidation of its irrational functions. The two most 
important of these functions are that of providing a biologistic justification for the imperialistic tendencies; and 
that of expressing certain unconscious emotional tendencies in the nationalist individual and of covering up 
certain other tendencies. We shall discuss here only the latter function. What interests us is why Hitler speaks of 
"incest" when an Aryan mingles with a Non- Aryan while customarily incest means precisely sexual intercourse 
between blood relatives. What is the background of such nonsense in a "theory" which presumed to be the basis 
of a new world, of a "Third Reich"? We must realize that even the irrational, emotional basis of such a hypothesis 
rests, in the final analysis, in certain conditions of living; we must rid ourselves of the idea that [67] the 
exploration of the irrational sources of ideologies, even though developed on a rational basis, is itself 

metaphysics. Then we open an avenue of approach to the sources of metaphysics itself, and comprehend not only 
its historical basis but also its material substance. The results of this explanation speak for themselves. 


What leads most frequently to misunderstandings of the relationship between an ideology and its historical 
function is the failure to distinguish its objective from its subjective function. The concepts of a dictatorship 
derive directly from the economic base. Thus, the fascist race theory and nationalist ideology in general derive 
from the imperialistic goals of a leading stratum of society which tries to solve economic difficulties. The 
German as well as the French nationalism of the first world war appealed to the "greatness of the nation" behind 
which were hidden the expansion tendencies of German and French finance. But these economic factors 
constitute only the social soil on which the corresponding ideology can develop, they are the social prerequisite 
but not the substance of the ideology itself. Occasionally, nationalism is not even socially represented, much less 
in harmony with a racial point of view. In the old Austria, nationalism did not correspond to any race, but to the 
"homeland" Austria- Hungary. When Bethmann-Hollweg in 1914 appealed to "Germandom" to rise against 
"Slavdom" he should have proceeded, logically, against Austria, a predominantly Slav nation. The economic 
prerequisites of an ideology, it is true, explain its material basis, but not its irrational core. This core is the 
character structure of the people who are subject to the respective economic conditions and thus reproduce, in 
their ideology, the historical economic process. By forming ideologies, people change themselves; the process of 
ideology formation has a material core. An ideology, then, has a twofold foundation: a direct one in the 
economic structure of society, and in an indirect one in the typical structure of the people, a structure which in 
turn is determined [68] by the economic structure of society. Thus the fact becomes understandable that irrational 
ideology formations create irrational human structures. 

The structure of the Fascist proved to be characterized by metaphysical thinking, piety, and the belief in abstract 
ethical ideas and in the Divine mission of the "Fiihrer." These traits rested on a basis of a strong authoritarian 
fixation to a Fiihrer-ideal or the nation. The belief in a "master race" was the strongest motive for the fixation of 
the National Socialist masses on the "Fiihrer" and for their voluntary submission to the status of crawling 
subjects. Besides this, however, there was another decisive element: the intense identification of the mass 
individual with the Fiihrer which made him oblivious of his insignificant role as a member of the subject mass. In 
spite of his submission and dependence, every National Socialist felt himself a "little Hitler." 

The problem is the characterological basis of such attitudes. It is a matter of finding those energy functions 
which can change human structures in such a manner that they develop such reactionary irrational ideologies; 
that, in full identification with the "Fiihrer," they become oblivious of the insult of being called "Untermenschen." 

If one is no longer blinded by ideological phraseology, if one analyzes its irrational content and realizes its 
connection with the sex-economic aspects of the process of ideology formation, one is first struck by the 
stereotyped equation of "race pollution" and "blood poisoning." What does this equation mean? 


"Running parallel to the political, ethical, and moral contamination of the people, there had been, for many 
years, a no less terrible poisoning of the national body. Especially in the big cities, syphilis was beginning to 
spread more and more . . ." writes Hitler (MEIN KAMPF, p. 246ff.). "The cause lies, primarily, in our prostitution 
of love. Even if its result were not this frightful plague, it would nevertheless be profoundly injurious to man, [69] 
since the moral devastations which accompany this degeneracy suffice to destroy a people slowly but surely. This 
Jewification of our spiritual life and mammonization of our mating instinct will sooner or later destroy our entire 
offspring . . . Blood sin and desecration of the race are the original sin in this world and the end of a humanity 
which surrenders to it. " Mixing of races, according to this concept, leads to "blood poisoning of the national 

body." "The most visible results of this mass contamination can, on the one hand, be found in the insane asylums, 
and on the other, unfortunately, in our — children. They in particular are the sad product of the irresistibly 
spreading contamination of our sexual life; the vices of the parents are revealed in the sicknesses of the children." 

The "vices of the parents" means only one thing here: that they mingled with Jewish blood, whereby the Jewish 
"world plague" found its way into the "pure" Aryan blood. It is remarkable how closely linked is this theory of 
pollution with the political thesis of the pollution of Germanism by the "world Jew Karl Marx." The irrational 
fear of syphilis is the most potent source of National Socialist political Weltanschauung and antisemitism. The 
logical goal is then, of course, the purity of the race, the purity of the blood. 

Hitler emphasized again and again that the approach to the masses should not be by way of knowledge, 
arguments and proof, but only by emotions and belief. The language of National Socialism, as exemplified by 
Kayserling, Driesch, Rosenberg, Stapel and others, is so mystical and nebulous that this characteristic deserves a 
special analysis. 

The question is, what is behind this fascist mysticism which so greatly fascinated the masses? 
The answer can be found in an analysis of the "proofs" which Rosenberg, in his MYTHUS DES 20. 
JAHRHUNDERTS," adduces for the correctness of the fascist race theory. He writes: 

The values of the race soul which are the driving forces behind the picture of the new world, have not yet become living 

[70] Yet soul means race seen from the inside. Conversely, race is the outer world of the soul. 

This is an example of the innumerable typically National Socialist phrases. They seem to disclose no meaning; 
more than that, they seem to hide any meaning as if intentionally, even from the writer himself. If one does not 
know the mass-psychological effectiveness of just such mystical phrases, one will also underestimate their great 
irrational political effect. Rosenberg says further: 

Race history, therefore, is natural history and soul mysticism at one and the same time. Conversely, the history of the religion of the 
blood is the great world history of the ascent and decline of nations, of their heroes and thinkers, of their inventors and artists. 

The recognition of this fact, Rosenberg goes on to say, leads to the further recognition that the "struggling of the 
blood" and the "inkling of the mysticism of the life process" are not two separate things, but represent one and the 
same thing in two different ways. "Struggling of the blood . . ." "mysticism of the life process . . ." "ascent and 
decline of nations ..." "blood poisoning ..." "Jewish world plague" — all lie in a line which begins with the 
"struggling of the blood" and ends in bloody terror against the "Jewish materialism" of Marx and in the massacre 
of Jews. 

One does not render the cause of human freedom a service by merely deriding this mysticism instead of 
unmasking it and reducing it to its basic irrational content. The essence of this irrational content is the irrationally 
mystified energy process, the most extreme expression of reactionary sexual ideology. The ideology of the "soul" 
and its purity is the ideology of asexuality, of "sexual purity." It is, basically, a result of patriarchal authoritarian 
sexual suppression and sexual anxiety. 

"The relationship between blood and environment, between blood and blood, is the ultimate manifestation to 
which we have access. To search and investigate further back is not granted us," [71] says Rosenberg. He is in 
error: we are immodest enough to search and to discover the living process "between blood and blood"; more than 
that, in doing so we smash one of the cornerstones of National Socialist ideology. 

We shall let Rosenberg himself prove the fact that the core of the fascist race theory is a mortal terror of natural 
sexuality and its orgasm function. 

Rosenberg attempts to prove the thesis that the rise and decline of nations is due to race mixture and "blood 
poisoning," by referring to the ancient Greeks. He states that originally the Greeks represented the purity of the 
Nordic race. The gods Zeus and Apollo and the goddess Athene were "the symbols of great, genuine piety," 

"protectors of the noble and joyful," "teachers of psychic harmony and of artistic values." Homer, he says, had no 
interest in the "ecstatic." Athene represented 

the symbol of the life-gnawing lightning sprung from Zeus's head, the wise virgin, the protectress of the Hellenic people and its 
struggle. These highly pious Greek soul creations show the straight, still pure life of Nordic man. They are, in the highest sense, 
religious testimonials and the expression of confidence in one's own nature (p. 41ff.). 

These gods who represent that which is pure, exalted and religious are contrasted to the gods of the Near-Eastern 
peoples. "While the Greek gods were heroes of the light and the skies, the gods of the Non- Aryans of Asia Minor 
showed all the traits of earthliness." Demeter and Hermes were the products of these "race souls." Dionysos, the 
god of ecstasies and voluptuous pleasure, signified the "inroad of the foreign race of the Etruscans and the 
beginning of the decline of Hellas. " 

Rosenberg, in order to support his thesis of the race soul, arbitrarily calls the gods who represent a certain aspect 
of the cultural process, Greek; and others, representing a different aspect of the same Greek culture, he calls 
foreign gods. The reason why Greek history was misunderstood, he says, was because historical science became 
"racially prejudiced" and misinterpreted Hellenism. 

[72] With pious awe, great German romanticism feels how ever darker veils are drawn over the bright gods of the heavens, and it 
plunges deeply into the instinctual, the amorphous, the demoniacal, the sexual, the ecstatic, chthonic, into the adoration of the 
mother [italics mine. — W.R.]. Yet it still considers all this Greek (p. 43). 

Idealistic philosophies do not examine the conditions which lead to this appearance of the "ecstatic" and 
"instinctual" in certain cultural epochs. Instead, they get entangled in the abstract valuation of this phenomenon. 
This valuation is from the standpoint of that cultural philosophy which feels itself so exalted and above what is 
"earthy" (that is, natural) that it perishes from its very exaltation. We, too, arrive at an evaluation of such 
phenomena, but we derive it from the conditions of the social process which appears as the "decline" of a culture. 
In this way, one recognizes the forward-driving and the inhibiting forces; one comprehends the manifestations of 
the decline as a historical process; and one sights the germs of the new cultural forms which we then help to 
develop. When Rosenberg, in view of the decline of the authoritarian civilization of the 20th century, points to the 
fate of the ancient Greeks, he takes the side of the conservative tendencies in history, his assertions of a 
"renovation" of Germany notwithstanding. We gain firm ground in our standpoint toward the cultural revolution 
and its sex-economic core if we succeed in comprehending the standpoint of political reaction. 

The reactionary cultural philosopher has only the alternatives of resigning and becoming skeptical or of trying to 
turn back the wheel of history by "revolutionary" means. If, however, one recognizes the fact that the decline of 
the old culture does not signify by any means the decline of civilization as such, but only that of a certain 
civilization, the authoritarian, one arrives automatically at a different evaluation of positive and negative cultural 
elements. It is a matter of finding out the revolutionary attitude toward those phenomena which the reactionary 
considers symptoms of decline. It is characteristic, for example, that [73] in ethnology political reaction favors the 
patriarchal theory while the revolutionary world adheres to the matriarchal theory. This divergent sociological 
attitude toward historical facts corresponds to hitherto undiscovered sex-economic processes. Matriarchy — a 
historically proven fact — is not only the organization of natural work democracy but also that of the sex- 
economically natural society. 2 Patriarchy, on the other hand, has not only an authoritarian economic organization, 
but also a catastrophically chaotic sex-economic organization. 

The church — far beyond the period of its monopolization of science — continued to keep alive the metaphysical 
thesis of the "ethical nature of man," his inherent monogamy, etc. For this reason, Bachofen's findings threatened 
to turn everything upside down. The amazing thing about the sexual organization of matriarchy was not its 
completely different blood relationships but its natural self-regulation of sexual life. Its real basis was the absence 
of private ownership of the social means of production, as shown by Morgan and Engels. Rosenberg, as a fascist 

ideologist, must deny the historical fact of the origin of ancient Greek culture in matriarchal forms of culture; 
instead, he propounds the hypothesis that the Dionysic element in Greek culture meant that the Greeks were 
taking over "foreign elements, physically and psychically." 

Fascist ideology (in contrast to Christian ideology) separates human orgastic longing from the structure created 
by the authoritarian patriarchy and assigns it to various races: "Nordic" is equivalent to bright, heavenly, exalted, 
pure, asexual; "Asiatic" to instinctual, demoniacal, ecstatic, sexual, orgastic. This explains the fascist refutation 
of Bachofen's research as "romantic, intuitive" and as "misinterpreting" ancient Greek life. In the fascist race 
theory, the orgasm anxiety of authoritarian man takes an absolute form as the "pure" which is contrasted to the 
"animal-like" and the orgastic. The "Greek," the "racial" element becomes the symbol of what is "pure," that is, 
asexual; the "foreign race," 

2 Cf. Morgan, Ancient Society; Engels, Ursprung der Familie; Malinowski, The Sexual Life of Savages; and Reich, Der Einbruch der 

[74] the "Etruscan" is the symbol of the "animal-like," and is "lower." For this reason, patriarchy is considered the 
font and origin of Aryan history: 

On Greek soil, the first world- historically decisive battle was fought between racial values; it was decided in favor of Nordic being. 
Now, man approaches life from the standpoint of the day, of life. Everything developed from the laws of light and the heavens. From 
the spirit and the essence of the father all that developed which we call Greek culture, that greatest heritage of antiquity for our own 
selves. — Rosenberg. 

The patriarchal authoritarian sexual order developed from the fundamental changes taking place in late 
matriarchy, such as economic independence of the chiefs family from the maternal tribe, increasing barter trade 
between the tribes, development of the means of production, etc. This patriarchal sexual order then became the 
basis of authoritarian ideology by depriving women, children and adolescents of sexual freedom, by making a 
commodity out of sexuality, and by putting sexuality in the service of economic suppression. Under these 
circumstances, sexuality, in fact, came to be distorted into something demoniacal which had to be restrained. 
Under the pressure of patriarchal demands, the chaste sensuality of matriarchy appeared as the raging of sinister 
elements. The Dionysic turned into "sinful desire," into something which patriarchal culture can experience only 
as chaotic and "filthy." With the development of distorted, lascivious, sexual structures, patriarchal man becomes 
enmeshed in an ideology in which "sexual" becomes inextricably associated with "filthy," "low" and 

The fact should not be overlooked that this evaluation of sexuality receives, secondarily, a rational justification. 

With the institution of chastity, women, under the pressure of their sexual needs, become unchaste. The natural 
orgastic sensuality of the men is replaced by sexual brutality which in turn gives the women the feeling that the 
sexual act debases them. Extramarital sexual intercourse is by no means effaced from the [75] earth. But, as a 
result of its different evaluation and of the abolition of the matriarchal institutions for its protection, it comes into 
conflict with official morality and comes to lead a backstairs existence. With the changed social position of 
extramarital intercourse the manner of experiencing sexuality changes also. The conflict which now exists 
between nature and a "higher" morality disturbs the capacity for gratification. Sexual guilt feelings disturb the 
natural course of the orgastic process. This results in sexual stasis, and the dammed-up sexual energies seek an 
outlet through all kinds of pathological channels. Neuroses, perversions and antisocial sexuality become 
permanent social phenomena. Infantile and adolescent sexuality, which in the original work democracy of 
matriarchy was affirmed and socially underwritten, comes to be systematically suppressed. This distorted, 
disturbed, brutalized and debased sexuality in turn supports the very ideology to which it owes its existence. The 
denial of sexuality can now, rightly, be justified by the dogma that sexuality is something inhuman and filthy. 
What is overlooked, however, is the fact that this filthy sexuality is not natural sexuality but the specific sexuality 

of patriarchy. Sexology of the patriarchy of the past few hundred years has never made this distinction. This 
failure makes it altogether sterile. 

We shall see later in which manner religious mysticism becomes the organized representation of these 
evaluations and ideologies. Here we only want to point out a difference between religious mysticism and National 
Socialist fascism. Religious mysticism denies the sex-economic principle altogether and stamps sexuality as a sin 
from which only the hereafter can save one. National Socialist fascism, on the other hand, imputes sensual 
sexuality to the "alien race" and debases it in this manner. Depreciation of the "alien race" thus fits organically 
into the imperialism of late patriarchy. 

Just as in Christian mythology God never appears without his counterpart, the devil, "The God of Hades," and 
the victory of the heavenly God over the God of Hades becomes the symbol of human betterment, so does Greek 
mythology reflect the fight [76] between orgastic biosexuality and ascetic demands. To the abstract moralist and 
the mystifying philosopher, this fight appears as the fight of two "essences" or "human ideas," one of which is a 
priori evaluated as low, the other as "essentially human" and "higher." If, however, one reduces this "fight of the 
essences" — as well as their evaluation — to their material origin, if one realizes their true role in the social process 
and also the role of sexuality as a factor in history, one arrives at the following facts: Every tribe which developed 
out of a matriarchal order into a patriarchal order had to change the sexual structure of its members. This was 
necessary because the shift of power and wealth from the democratic clans to the authoritarian family of the chief 
was achieved essentially by means of suppressing the sexuality of the members of society. In this manner, sexual 
suppression came to be an essential part of the division of society into classes. 

Marriage and the dowry laws became the core of the change from one organization to the other. 3 To the same 
extent to which the power of the men, especially the chief, was enhanced by the marriage tribute of the gens of 
the woman to the family of the man, these men had an economic interest in preserving the marital bonds. For at 
this stage of development, only the man had an interest in marriage, not the woman. In this way, the simple 
marriage of natural work democracy, which could easily be dissolved at any time, changed into the permanent 
monogamous marriage of patriarchy. It became the central patriarchal institution which it has remained to this 
day. The maintenance of these marriages, however, required progressive restriction and debasement of natural 
genital strivings. This was the case not only in the more and more exploited "lower" class. The other strata, which 
previously had not known any conflict between sexuality and morals, developed this conflict to an increasing 
degree. For compulsive morality acts not only from without; rather, it exerts its full influence only when it has 
become internalized, when it has become structural sexual inhibition. During 

3 The ethnological proof for this statement was presented in my book, Der Einbruch DER Sexualmoral. 

[77] various stages of this process, one or the other aspect of the conflict will predominate. In the early stages the 
sexual needs will have the upper hand, in later stages the compulsive moralistic inhibition. At times of political 
upheavals of the total social organization, the conflict between sexuality and compulsive morality becomes most 
acute. This will impress some people as the "collapse of morality," other people as "sexual revolution." At any 
rate, the idea of the "decline of culture" is the perception of the breakthrough of natural sexuality. The only reason 
why it is experienced subjectively as "decline" is the fact that it threatens the compulsive moralistic way of living. 
What happens objectively is only the downfall of the sexual dictatorship which maintains the compulsive 
moralistic forces in the individuals in the interest of authoritarian marriage and family. Among the ancient 
Greeks, whose written history begins only with the fully developed patriarchy, we find the following sexual 
organization: men's rule, courtesans for the higher strata, prostitution for the middle and lower strata, and, along 
with this, miserable, enslaved wives who functioned only as child-bearing machines. The men's rule of the 
Platonic age is definitely homosexual. 4 

The contradictions in the sex-economy became evident at a time when the Greek state declined politically and 
economically. To the Fascist Rosenberg it appears that during the Dionysian epoch the "chthonic" element 

becomes "mixed" with the "Appollonic" element, resulting in the decline of both. The phallus, writes Rosenberg, 
comes to be the symbol of Greek Weltanschauung. To the Fascist, the return of natural sexuality is a symptom of 
decline, of lasciviousness and sexual filth. This corresponds not only to the fascist way of looking at these things, 
but also to the actual manner in which people experience sexuality in such epochs. The "Dionysian feasts" 
corresponded to the various costume balls, etc., of our reactionary strata. If one really knows what goes on at such 
festivities, one will not make the common error of considering these "Dionysian" activities as 

4 The same principle governs the fascist ideology of the male leader's stratum (Bliiher, Roehm, etc.)- 

[78] genuine sexual experiences. Nowhere does the conflict between increasingly conscious sexual desire and 
moralistically disturbed capacity for gratification become as obvious as at such festivities. According to 
Rosenberg, "Dionysos' law of unlimited sexual gratification means the uninhibited mixing of races between the 
Hellenes and Asiatics of all tribes and varieties." Imagine that a historian in the year 4000 would describe the 
sexual feasts of the 20th century as an uninhibited mixing of the Germans with the Negroes and Jews "of all tribes 
and varieties"! 

Here, the meaning of the concept of racial mixing becomes quite clear. It means a defense against the Dionysian, 
which defense has its roots in the interest of patriarchal society in marriage. For this reason, we see in the history 
of Jason the development of compulsive marriage as a defense against the courtesans. 

"Courtesans" are women who rebel against the yoke of compulsive marriage and insist on their right to sexual 
self-determination. This demand, however, is in conflict with their early education which made them incapable of 
full sexual experience. Therefore, the courtesan engages in all kinds of adventures in order to escape her 
homosexuality, or she continues to be torn between the two strivings. The male counterpart is the homosexuality 
of the men who escape from compulsive marriage to the courtesan or homosexual boys and thus try to restore 
their capacity for sexual experience. 

The sexual structure of the Fascists, understandably, is similar to that of the Platonic age because they affirm 
patriarchy in its strictest form and actually, on the basis of their familial way of living, reactivate the sexual life of 
the Platonic age: "purity" in the ideology, pathological disturbances in actual sexual life. Rosenberg and Bliiher 
recognize the state only in the form of a men's state on a homosexual basis. It is interesting to see how from this 
ideology develops the concept of the worthlessness of democracy. Pythagoras is rejected because he advocated 
the equality of all people, because he was "the prophet of democratic Tellurism, of the common possession of 
goods and women." The almost inseparable connection between common possession [79] of "goods" and of 
"women" plays a central role in the anti-revolutionary struggle. The democratization of Roman patrician rule — up 
to the fifth century three hundred families of the nobility provided three hundred senators — is ascribed to the fact 
that, beginning with the fifth century, mixed marriages between patricians and plebeians were permitted, which 
resulted in a "racial decline." Here, the reactionary character of the race theory discloses itself in pure form. For 
now it is stated that sexual intercourse between Greeks or Romans of different classes is race mixing. Members of 
the suppressed class are equated with members of an alien race. At another place, Rosenberg refers to the 
workers' movement as the "ascending human asphalt of the cities with all the offal of the Asiatics." 

That is, behind the idea of mixing with foreign races is the idea of sexual intercourse with members of the 
suppressed class. Behind this, in turn, is the tendency of political reaction to draw sharp lines which is possible 
economically, but is made impossible, as far as sexual morality is concerned, by the sexual suppression of middle- 
class women. Sexual intermingling between the classes, however, means a dangerous weakening of class rule; it 
means a "democratization," that is, sexual proletarization of the "noble" youth. For the lower strata — in any social 
order — produce sexual concepts and ways of living which are extremely dangerous to the ruling class in any 
authoritarian order. 5 

The fact that behind the idea of race mixing is the idea of mixing with members of the ruled class provides the 
answer to the question, What role does sexual repression play in class society? We should not assume a 

mechanical relationship between sexual suppression and material exploitation. The functions of sexual 
suppression are much more complicated. We shall mention only two: 

1 . Since sexual suppression takes its origin from the economic interests of marriage and inheritance, it begins in 
the ruling class itself. The morality of chastity, at first, applies most severely to 

5 Cf. the evaluation of the "impure caste" in East-Indian patriarchal society. 

[80] the female members of the ruling class. This is for the purpose of preserving the possessions which were 
gained through exploitation of the lower strata. 

2. In early capitalism and in the feudal Asiatic cultures the ruling class is as yet not interested in the sexual 
suppression of the ruled strata. With the development of an organized labor movement and the resulting social 
betterment of the masses, their sex-moralistic inhibition sets in. Only now does the ruling caste begin to show an 
interest in the "morality" of the suppressed. With the development of an organized working-class, then, there goes 
hand in hand an opposite process, that of an ideological adaptation to the ruling class. 

In this process, however, the existing forms of sexual living do not get lost. They continue to exist alongside the 
moralistic ideologies which become more and more anchored; this results in the previously described conflict 
between reactionary and revolutionary structure in the same individuals. Historically, the development of this 
mass-psychological conflict coincides with the transition from feudal absolutism to bourgeois democracy. True, 
the exploitation only changed its form; but this change of form resulted in a characterological change in the 
masses. This is the fact which Rosenberg mystifies when he writes that the earth god, Poseidon, was forced by 
Athene, the goddess of asexuality, to rule in the ground below her temple in the shape of a snake, similar to the 
"Pelasgic python dragon" beneath Apollo's temple in Delphi. "But not everywhere did the Nordic Theseus kill the 
beasts of Asia Minor; as soon as Aryan blood would relax its watchfulness, the foreign monsters would spring up 
again and again, that is, Near-Eastern bastardy and the physical robustness of the Eastern people." 

It is clear what is meant by "physical robustness": that sexual naturalness which distinguishes the working 
people from the ruling class and which, in the course of the "democratization," gradually disintegrates, without, 
however, getting lost entirely. The snake Poseidon and the python dragon are a symbol of the phallus, that is, of 
genital sensuality. Genital sexuality has indeed [81] been forced underground in the structure of society and of its 
people, but it is not destroyed. The feudal upper stratum which has an immediate interest in the denial of natural 
sexuality (cf. Japan) feels itself endangered by the more natural sexual forms of living among the suppressed 
strata. This all the more because the ruling class has not only not vanquished its own sensuality, but sees it 
reappear in its own circles in distorted and perverse forms. The sexual forms of the masses, therefore, mean not 
only a psychological but also a social danger to the ruling class; in particular, the latter sees a threat to its family 
institution. As long as the ruling castes are economically strong and in the ascendency, as for example the English 
bourgeoisie of the middle of the 19th century, they are able to maintain their sex-moralistic differentiation from 
the masses. In times when their rule becomes insecure, and even more so in times of definite crises, as, for 
example, since the beginning of the 20th century in Middle Europe and England, the moralistic fetters of 
sexuality begin to loosen within the ruling stratum itself. The disintegration of sexual moralism begins with a 
liquidation of the family ties while at first the lower middle classes, in full identification with the upper middle 
classes and its morality, become the real advocates of official antisexual morality. A natural sex life must appear a 
particularly serious danger to the maintenance of the sexual institutions at a time of an economic decline of the 
lower middle classes. Since the lower middle classes are the mainstay of the authoritarian order, this order is 
vitally interested in their "morality" and "purity." For there could hardly be any more serious danger to the 
dictatorships than if the lower middle classes were to lose their sex-moralistic attitude to a degree corresponding 
to their intermediate economic position between industrial workers and upper middle class. For in the lower 
middle classes, too, the "Python dragon" lies in wait, ready to break his fetters and with that the political reaction 
of the middle classes. This is why an authoritarian regime, in critical times, always accentuates the propaganda 

for "morality" and for the "consolidation of marriage and the family." For the authoritarian family is the bridge 
from [82] the miserable social position of the lower middle class to the reactionary ideology. If the compulsive 
family is undermined by economic crises, by proletarization of the middle class or by war, this also seriously 
threatens to undermine the structural anchoring of the authoritarian system in the people. This problem will need 
extensive discussion. We must agree, then, with the National Socialist biologist and race theorist Leng who said 
at a meeting of the National Socialist society "Deutscher Staat" in 1932 that the authoritarian family is the core of 
culture politics. We may add that it is the core not only of reactionary but also of revolutionary politics because 
these findings have far-reaching social consequences. 




We have demonstrated that fascism is not a problem of Hitler's person or of National Socialist party politics. It is 
a problem of the masses. We have shown how it is possible that pauperized masses give themselves over with 
such enthusiasm to an arch-reactionary party. In order to arrive at the practical consequences which result from 
this for sex-political work we must turn our attention to the symbolism which the Fascists use in putting the 
revolutionary structures of the masses into reactionary fetters. They themselves are not conscious of their 

In the SA (the military organization of the party), National Socialism brought together largely workers with 
vague revolutionary but at the same time also reactionary feelings, mostly unemployed workers and adolescents. 
For this reason, the propaganda was full of contradictions, varying, as it did, from audience to audience. It was 
consistent and unequivocal only in the management of the mystical feelings of the masses. 

Talks with National Socialist followers, particularly with members of the SA, showed clearly that the decisive 
factor in winning over these masses was the revolutionary phraseology of National Socialism. One heard National 
Socialists deny that Hitler was representing capitalism. One heard SA members warn Hitler not to betray the 
cause of the "revolution." One heard other SA people state that Hitler was the German Lenin. Those who shifted 
to National Socialism from Social Democracy and the liberal parties of the middle were revolutionized masses 
who previously were unpolitical or politically undecided. Those who shifted from the Communist party were 
partly revolutionaries who did not comprehend the many contradictory slogans of the [84] Communist party, and 
partly people who were impressed by the external make-up of the Hitler party, its military character, its parading 
of strength, etc. 

Among the symbolical means of propaganda one is first struck by the flag symbol. 

Wir sind des Heer vom Hakenkreuz 
Hebt hoch die roten Fahnen, 
Der deutschen Arbeit wollen wir 
Den Weg zur Freiheit bahnen. 1 

The emotional content of this text is unequivocally revolutionary. The National Socialists also used 
revolutionary melodies which they made people sing with reactionary texts. Identical methods were used in 
political formulations which appeared by the hundreds in Hitler's newspapers: 

The political bourgeoisie is on the point of leaving the stage of historical influence. Its place is being taken by the hitherto 
suppressed rank of the people who work with their fists and who work with their brains, the working people who are going to fulfill 
their historical mission. 

The undertone of Communism is unmistakable here. The revolutionary character of the National Socialist 

masses was clearly expressed in the adroit design of the flag. About the flag, Hitler wrote: 

In red we see the social idea of the movement, in white the nationalistic idea, in the swastika the mission of the struggle for the 
victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work, which as such always has been and 
always will be anti- Semitic. 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 496f.) 

1 We are the army of the swastika 
Lift high the scarlet banners 
For German labor we will strive 
To pave the road to freedom. 

[85] The red and the white appeal to the contradictory structure of the average individual. What remains unclear 
is the emotional role of the swastika. Why does the symbol lend itself so well to the provocation of mystical 
feelings? Hitler contended that it was a symbol of antisemitism. This significance, however, is acquired only at a 
very late stage in history. Apart from that, there remains the question of the irrational content of antisemitism. 
The irrational content of the race theory is explained by the misinterpretation of natural sexuality as "filthy 
sensuality." The Jew and the Negro mean the same thing to the Fascist, the German as well as the American. The 
race struggle against the Negro in America takes essentially the form of sexual defense: the Negro is thought of as 
the sensual brute who rapes white women. Hitler wrote concerning the occupation of the Rhineland by colored 

Only in France does there exist today more than ever an inner identity between the intentions of the Jew-controlled stock exchange 
and the desire of the chauvinist-minded national statesmen. But in this very identity there lies an immense danger for Germany. For 
this very reason, France is and remains by far the most terrible enemy. This people, which is basically becoming more and more 
negrified, constitutes in its tie with the aims of Jewish world domination an enduring danger for the existence of the white race in 
Europe. For the contamination by Negro blood on the Rhine in the heart of Europe is just as much in keeping with the perverted 
sadistic thirst for vengeance of this hereditary enemy of our people as is the ice-cold calculation of the Jew thus to begin bastardizing 
the European continent at its core to deprive the white race of the foundations for a sovereign existence through infection with lower 

(MEIN KAMPF, p. 624) 

We must train ourselves rigidly to listen attentively to what the Fascist says instead of brushing it off as 
nonsense or fraud. We begin to understand better the emotional content of this theory which sounds like a 
paranoic system when held together with the theory of the "poisoning of the national body." The [86] swastika, 
too, has a content which is apt to stir the depths of the emotional life, but in a way entirely different from that 
which Hitler had in mind. 

To begin with, the swastika was also found in Semitic peoples, for example, in the Alhambra in Granada. Herta 
Heinrich 2 found it at the ruins of the synagogue of Edd-Dikke on the lake of Genezareth. Here it had the 
following shape: 

The swastika is often found together with a diamond figure, the former representing a symbol of the male 
principle, the latter of the female. Percy Gardner found it with the Greeks as a symbol of the sun under the name 
of Hemera, that is, again as a male symbol. Lowenthal 3 describes a swastika from the altarcloth of Maria zur 
Wiese in Soest with vulva and double cross. In this, the swastika appears as a symbol of the stormy sky, the 
diamond as symbol of the fertile soil. Smigorski found the swastika in the form of the East Indian swastika cross 
as a four-pronged lightning bolt with three points at each prong, as follows: 

Lichtenberg found swastikas with a head in place of the three points. 

The swastika, then, was originally a sexual symbol. In the course of time, it took on diverse meanings, among 
others that of a mill- 

2 Herta Heinrich: "Hakenkreuz, Vierklee und Granatapfel." Ztschr.f. Sexualwissenschaft, 1930. 

3 John Lowenthal: "Zur Hakenkreuzsymbolik." Ztschr.f. Sexualwissenschaft, 1930. 

[87] wheel, that is, of work. The original emotional identity of work and sexuality explains a finding of Bilmans 
and Pengerots on the mitre of Saint Thomas a Becket. It is a swastika with the following inscription: "Hail, Earth, 
mother of man. Grow great in the embrace of God, fruitful to nourish mankind." Here, fertility is represented 
sexually as sexual intercourse between Mother Earth and God-Father. According to Zelenin, swastikas, in old 
Indian language, means cock as well as voluptuary; again an unequivocally sexual meaning of swastika. 

A look at the swastikas on page 86 will show them to be a schematic but unmistakable presentation of two 
intertwined human bodies. The swastika at left represents a sexual act in recumbent position, the one at the right 
in the standing position. That is, the swastika represents a basic living function. 

This effect of the swastika on unconscious emotional life is, of course, not the reason for the success of fascist 
mass propaganda; but it is a potent stimulant. Random tests with people of either sex and of various ages and 
social position showed that only very few people failed to recognize the meaning of the swastika; most people 
recognized it sooner or later. It can be safely assumed that this symbol which represents two intertwined bodies is 
a powerful stimulus to deep-seated emotional strivings; the more powerful the more unsatisfied and sexually 
longing the individual is. If the symbol, in addition, is presented as the symbol of honor and faithfulness, it is all 
the more easily accepted because then it also draws in the sex-defensive moralistic tendencies. It would be 
entirely erroneous to conclude from these findings that one should try to diminish the effectiveness of the symbol 
by disclosing its sexual meaning. First, we do not want to depreciate the sexual act. Second, the reaction to such 
an attempt would be mostly negative since the moral disguise would act as a defense against our attempt. The 
way of sex-economic mental hygiene is different. 




Since authoritarian society reproduces itself in the structure of the mass individual by means of the authoritarian 
family, it follows that political reaction must defend the authoritarian family as the basis "of the state, of culture 
and of civilization." It can base its propaganda on deep-seated irrational factors in the masses. The German 
masses would not have accepted a program of "world conquest." In political propaganda, which is based on mass- 
psychological effects, one deals not with immediate economic processes, but with human structure. This fact 
should guide mental hygiene work; its neglect must lead to mass-psychological errors. Revolutionary sex politics 
cannot be content with an elucidation of the objective basis of the authoritarian family. If it is to proceed from a 
mass-psychologically correct standpoint, it will have to make an appeal to the human longing for happiness in 
life, and happiness in love in particular. 

From the standpoint of social development, the family cannot be considered the basis of the authoritarian state, 
only as one of the most important institutions which support it. It is, however, its central reactionary germ cell, 
the most important place of reproduction of the reactionary and conservative individual. Being itself caused by 
the authoritarian system, the family becomes the most important institution for its conservation. In this 
connection, the findings of Morgan and of Engels are still entirely correct. But we are not interested here in the 
history of the family. We are interested in the important problem of how sex-economy must proceed if it is to 
defeat reactionary sexual and cultural politics which so successfully use the authoritarian family as their pivot. A 
detailed investigation of the basis and the effects [89] of the authoritarian family is all the more indicated in that, 
in revolutionary circles also, there is a great deal of confusion on this point. 

The authoritarian family contains a contradiction the thorough understanding of which is of decisive importance 
for a successful sex-economic mental hygiene. The maintenance of the authoritarian family institution requires 
more than economic dependence of wife and children on husband and father. This dependence can be tolerated 
only under the condition that the consciousness of being a sexual being is extinguished as far as possible in 
women and children. The woman is not supposed to be a sexual being, only the producer of children. The 
idolatrous idealization of motherhood is grossly at variance with the brutality with which mothers among the 
working population are actually treated. This idealization of motherhood is essentially a means of keeping women 
from developing a sexual consciousness and from breaking through the barriers of sexual repression, of keeping 
alive their sexual anxieties and guilt feelings. The very existence of woman as a sexual being would threaten 
authoritarian ideology; her recognition and social affirmation would mean its collapse. Conservative sexual 
reform, true, talked of "woman's right to her own body." But it made the mistake of not presenting this right in 
concrete terms, of not calling woman, unequivocally and unmistakably, a sexual being, of not defending her as 
such at least to the same extent as in her role of mother. Furthermore, the conservative sexual reform movement 
based its policies primarily on the function of procreation instead of giving up the reactionary equation of 
sexuality and procreation. For this reason, it had no firm stand against mysticism. 

One of the supports of the authoritarian family is the ideology of the "blessings of large families." This ideology 
is upheld not so much in the interests of imperialistic wars but in the interests of a more important function: that 
of depreciating woman's sexual function compared with her function of procreation. The antithesis of "mother" 
and "whore," as for example in the writings of the philosopher Weininger, correspond to the antithesis be- 
[90]tween sexual desire and procreation in the thinking of the reactionary individual. According to these 
concepts, the sexual act for pleasure degrades the woman and mother; she who affirms pleasure and lives 
accordingly is a "whore." The concept that sexuality is moral only when in the service of procreation is the core 
of reactionary sex politics. It is no less reactionary when advocated by Communists such as Salkind or Stoliarow. 

Imperialistic wars require that there be no rebellion in the women against the function that is imposed on them, 
that of being nothing but child-bearing machines. That is, the function of sexual gratification must not be allowed 
to interfere with the child-bearing junction. In addition, no woman who is fully conscious of her sexuality would 
ever willingly follow the reactionary slogans which purpose her enslavement. This antithesis of sexual 
gratification and procreation holds only for authoritarian society, not for work democracy. The question is, under 
what sort of conditions women are to have children: under favorable conditions underwritten by society, or under 
conditions where there are no adequate institutions for maternal and infant welfare. If, then, women are to bear 
children without any social protection, without any security for their upbringing, without the right to determine 
the number of children they will have, and without rebellion against their childbearing function — motherhood 
must be idealized at the expense of the sexual function of woman. 

If we want to comprehend the fact that Hitler's party — like the Center party — gained support precisely from 
women's votes, we must understand the irrationalism at work in this paradoxical phenomenon. The irrational 
mechanism is the antithesis of woman as childbearer and woman as sexual being. If we understand this, we 
understand the standpoint of fascism as it is expressed in the following: 

The preservation of the family with many children is a matter of biological concept and national feeling. The family with many 
children must be preserved not because it is hungry but because it is a highly valuable, indispensable part of the German nation. 
Valuable and indispensable not only because it alone guarantees the maintenance [91] of the population in the future 1 but because it 
is the strongest basis of national morality and national culture . . . The preservation of the existing large families is synonymous 
with the preservation of the institution of the large family, because these two problems are identical . . . The preservation of this 
family form is a necessity of national and cultural politics . . . This concept is strictly at variance with the demands for an abolition of 
paragraph 218; it considers unborn life as sacrosanct. For the legalization of abortion is at variance with the function of the family, 
which is to produce children, and would lead to the definite destruction of the family with many children. 

Thus wrote the Volkische Beobachter on October 14, 1931. It means that, in the question of abortion, too, 

reactionary family politics is the decisive factor; it is much more important than the factors stressed previously, 
namely, the interest in an industrial reserve army and the interest in cannon fodder for imperialistic war. The 
argument of the industrial reserve army became practically meaningless during the economic crisis, when there 
were many millions of unemployed in Germany alone, and over forty million all over the world. When political 
reaction keeps repeating that the maintenance of the abortion paragraph is necessary in the interest of the family 
and the "moral order," we can no longer doubt that the "authoritarian family" and "the morality of moralism" are 
reactionary forces of decisive weight. We cannot shrug them off as unimportant. It is a matter of giving women a 
fixation on the authoritarian family by means of suppressing their sexual needs; a matter of the reactionary 
influence of these women on their men; of safeguarding the effects of reactionary sex propaganda on the millions 
of women who are sexually suppressed and who tolerate this suppression. It is a great mistake not to follow 
reaction to wherever it exerts its influence. It must be beaten precisely where it defends its system. 

The interest in the authoritarian family as an institution which "preserves the state" ranks first in every aspect of 
reactionary sex politics. It is identical with the interest of the middle class in which the family is — or rather used 
to be — also the economic unit. 

1 This is the objective imperialistic function of the large family. 

[92] It is from this standpoint that fascist ideology views state and society, economics and politics. It is also from 
this standpoint that reactionary sexology considers the state as an "organic whole." To the working individuals in 
modern society, family and social existence are not identical; the family is not economically rooted. For this 
reason, they are able to recognize the "state" as a compulsive social institution. In their sexology and sex- 
economy the "biological" viewpoint that the state is an "organic whole" is not valid. The extent to which the 
working individual is accessible to such a reactionary concept is determined by his authoritarian family 
upbringing. The lower middle classes and the peasantry would be more inclined to recognize their social 
responsibility if their family situation were not so interwoven with their economic position. 

During the world economic crisis, with the economic ruin of many thousands of small businesses, this 
connection between family situation and economic situation was loosened. But the much-talked-about tradition of 
the lower middle classes, that is, their fixation on the authoritarian family, still had its effects. For this reason, 
they were much more accessible to the fascist ideology of the "large family" than to the revolutionary concept of 
birth control; this all the more because the revolutionary movement failed to clarify this question and to put it in 
the forefront. 

As unequivocal as this fact is, we would go wrong if we did not consider it in connection with other, 
contradictory facts. We must not overlook the contradictions in the sexually inhibited individual. To begin with, 
there is the decisive contradiction between sex-moralistic thinking and feeling on the one hand and concrete 
sexual living conditions on the other. For example: In Western Germany, there were a great many birth control 
leagues, largely of a "Socialist" character. During the Wolf-Kienle campaign in 1931, a great many women who 
voted Center or NSDAP party were for the abolition of the abortion paragraph while their own parties were 
violently against it. These women voted for sex-economic birth control because they wanted to safeguard their 
sexual gratification. But at the same time they voted for their parties because, unaware of the contradiction, they 
had in them- [93] selves the reactionary ideology of "pure motherhood," of the antithesis of motherhood and 
sexuality, in brief, authoritarian ideology. True, these women knew nothing of the sociological role of the 
authoritarian family in dictatorship, but they were under the influence of the sex politics of political reaction: they 
affirmed birth control but were afraid of the responsibility imposed on them by a revolutionary world. 

Sexual reaction, indeed, utilized sexual anxiety for its own purposes in every possible way. In the absence of a 
sex-economic counter-propaganda, the average middle-class woman with a Christian or Nationalist orientation 
was, of course, impressed by such propaganda as the following. In 1918, the "Association for the Fight against 
Bolshevism" issued a poster as follows: 

German Women! 

Do you have any idea what bolshevism threatens you with? 
Bolshevism wants the socialization of women: 

1 . The right of possession of women between the ages of seventeen and thirty-two is abolished. 

2. All women are the property of the people. 

3. The previous owners retain the right to their wives without waiting in line. 

4. Every man who wants to use a woman has to get a certificate from the labor committee. 

5. The man cannot claim a woman for himself more often than three times a week and no longer than three hours at a time. 

6. Every man is obliged to inform the police of women who refuse to comply. 

7. Any man not belonging to the working-class has to pay one hundred roubles a month for the use of this common property. 

The vileness of such propaganda is as obvious as its mendacity. Yet the first reaction of the average woman is 
horror, and the following letter is a typical expression of the reaction of progressive women: 

I admit that there is only one way out of the present misery for us working people, and that is socialism. But it must remain within 
certain reasonable limits and not throw out everything in existence [94] as bad or unnecessary. Otherwise, the result will be a moral 
chaos much more terrible than the present economic situation. Unfortunately, socialism attacks a very important high ideal: 
marriage. It is claimed that there should be full freedom, complete licentiousness, sexual bolshevism, as it were. Every individual 
should be free to live out his sexuality without any bounds. No longer any companionship between man and woman, but living with 
one one day, with another the next day, according to passing whims. This is what they call freedom, free love, new sexual morality. 
But these beautiful terms cannot make me oblivious of the great dangers here. It would mean a degrading of the highest and noblest 
human feelings: love, faithfulness, sacrifice. It is impossible, it is against nature, that a man or a woman could love several people at 
one and the same time. That would result in a brutalization which would destroy all culture. I do not know what these things look 
like in the Soviet Union. But either the Russians are peculiar people or else they have not in reality permitted this absolute freedom 
and still have certain restrictive measures. As good as socialist theories may be, and as completely as I agree with you in all 
economic questions, I cannot agree in the sexual question, and this often makes me doubt the validity of all of it. 

This letter clearly presents the conflict of the average individual: Compulsive sexual morality is contrasted with 
the idea of sexual chaos. The average individual does not know the sex-economic regulation of sexual life, a 
regulation which is as different from compulsive morality as it is from sexual chaos. He rebels against the 
compulsion with promiscuous impulses and must in turn defend himself against these. The moral regulation is a 
heavy burden and the sexual impulse is experienced as a tremendous danger. The individual brought up in the 
authoritarian way does not know the natural laws of self-regulation; he is afraid of his sexuality because he has 
never learned to live it naturally; he has no confidence in himself. Therefore, he declines responsibility for his 
actions and decisions and demands guidance. 

Thus far, the revolutionary movement has had no success with its sex politics because it could not match the 
successful method of reactionary politics, that of appealing to the sex-negative forces in the average individual. If 
the reaction had used no propaganda [95] but its population-political thesis, it would not have impressed a soul. 
But what it did was work successfully on the sexual anxiety of women and girls. It cleverly combined its 
population-political goals with the compulsive moralistic inhibitions of the people in every stratum of society. 
Here is another example of the methods of propaganda of the reaction: 2 

In their destructive war against the whole bourgeois world, the Bolshevists, from the beginning, paid special attention to the family, 
"this relic of the cursed old regime." The plenary meeting of the Comintern of June 10, 1924 declared, "The revolution is powerless 
as long as the old concepts of family and family relationships continue to exist." In keeping with this concept, the family was fought 
violently. Bigamy and polygamy are not prohibited, and, with that, permitted. The attitude of the Bolsheviks is characterized by 
Professor Goichbarg's definition of marriage as "an institution for more convenient and less dangerous gratification of sexual needs." 
The extent of the disintegration of family and marriage under such conditions was shown by the results of the general census in 
1927. The Istvestia wrote: "In Moscow, the census revealed numerous cases of polygamy and polyandry. Cases where two or even 
three women claimed the same man to be their husband were a common occurrence. " It is not surprising, then, that the German 
professor, Sellheim, describes the family situation in Russia as follows: "It is a complete regression to the sexual order of remote 

antiquity, from which, over a period of thousands of years, a useful sexual order has developed." 

Compulsive family and marriage life are also attacked by the proclamation of full freedom in sexual intercourse. 
The well-known Communist Smidowitch published a statement on sexual morality 3 of adolescents, somewhat 
like the following: 

1 . Every student of the workers' faculty, including those not of age, is entitled and obliged to satisfy his sexual 

2. When a man desires a girl, be it a student, a worker or even 

2 "Welt vor dem Abgrund" — "Der Einfluss des russischen Kulturbolschewismus auf die anderen Volker." Deutscher Volkskalender, 1932. 

3 These remarks of Smidowitch were actually meant ironically and implied a criticism of adolescent sex life. 

[96] a schoolgirl, the girl has to submit to his wishes, otherwise she is considered bourgeois and unworthy of 
calling herself a Communist. 

The Pravda writes openly, "With us, there are only sexual relationships between man and woman, we do not 
recognize love, love is only something psychological; with us, only physiology counts." In keeping with this 
Communist attitude, every woman or girl is under obligation to satisfy the sexual desire of the men. Since they do 
not do this altogether voluntarily, rape has become a veritable plague in Soviet Russia. 

Such lies by the political reaction cannot be made ineffective by being unmasked as lies, nor by protestations 
such as that one is just as "moral" as the reactionaries, that the revolution does not destroy the authoritarian family 
and its moralism, etc. The fact is that the revolution brings with it a change in sexual living, that the old 
compulsive order disintegrates. One also cannot arrive at a sex-economic orientation if one tolerates in one's own 
camp ascetic attitudes toward these questions. This we shall have to discuss later. 

Revolutionary sex politics failed to explain continuously the sex-economic regulation of sexual life and to 
comprehend and counteract women's fear of sexual health; it failed, furthermore, to create clarity in its own rank 
and file by consistently and clearly distinguishing reactionary from sex-economic concepts. Experience shows 
that the average individual will affirm the sex-economic regulation of sexual life if he is made to understand it. 

It is from the concepts of political reaction — which are based economically on the economic conditions of the 
lower middle classes and ideologically on mysticism — that the anti-revolutionary movement originates. The core 
of the cultural politics of political reaction is the sexual question. It follows that the core of revolutionary cultural 
politics also must be the sexual question. 

Sex-economy gives the political answer to the chaos which was created by the conflict between compulsive 
morality and sexual libertinism. 





If we are to formulate the tasks of sex-economic mental hygiene, we must pay the closest attention to the modes 
of attack and defense of political reaction on the front of cultural politics. We cannot do away with the mystical 
slogans of reaction by calling them "diversion manoeuvres." As we have said: If reaction is successful with a 
certain ideological propaganda, this success cannot be due simply to "obfuscation"; rather, in each and every 
instance there must be a mass-psychological problem. There must be in the masses an as yet unrecognized 

process which enables them to think and act against their own vital interests. This is a decisive problem. For 
without this behavior of the masses, political reaction would be powerless. The strength of fascism lies only and 
alone in the readiness of the masses to accept its ideologies, in the "mass-psychological soil." A full 
understanding of this is, therefore, imperative. 

Increasing economic pressure on the masses of the working people is always accompanied by an increasing 
pressure of compulsive morality. This can have only one function: that of preventing a rebellion of the working 
masses against the economic pressure by accentuating their sexual guilt feelings and their moral dependence on 
the existing order. The question is, how does this take place? 

Since permeation with mysticism is the most essential mass-psychological groundwork for the acceptance of 
fascist ideology, [98] an understanding of fascist ideology is not possible without a study of the psychological 
effect of mysticism in general. 

When, in the spring of 1932, after the fall of Briining, the government of von Papen 1 assumed the helm, one of 
its first steps was the institution of measures for a "stricter moral education of the nation." The government of 
Hitler continued this policy in an accentuated form. 2 In an edict concerning education the following was said: 

Youth will be geared to its difficult future only if it is governed by the idea of the state and the nation . . . and that means education 
to responsibility and readiness for sacrifice for the whole. Softness and too much consideration for every individual inclination are 
out of place with a youth which will have a difficult role in life. Only then will youth be rightly prepared for their service to the state 
and the nation if . . . they have been made accustomed to adjusting themselves to the discipline of education and to submitting 
willingly to its authority . . . Education to a genuine national feeling must be complemented and deepened by a German culture 
which is based on the historical cultural values of the German people . . . by a deepening of our historical Germanism . . . Education 
to a national feeling derives its greatest inner strength from the truths of Christianity . . . Faithfulness and responsibility toward 
nation and fatherland have their deepest anchoring in the Christian faith. For this reason, it will always be my highest duty to 
safeguard the free development of the Christian school and of the Christian fundamentals of all education. 

We must ask ourselves wherein rests this much-praised strength of mystical faith. When political reaction states 
that national feeling derives its greatest strength from "the truths of Christianity," it is entirely correct. Before 
demonstrating this, however, we will have to summarize briefly certain differences with regard 

1 Papen paved the way for Hitler and later played an important role as fascist diplomat. 

2 An illustration is the following news item of August, 1933: CONCENTRATION CAMP FOR "IMMORAL" EXCURSIONISTS. Hamburg. The police 
authorities of Hamburg have instructed their officers to pay special attention to the behavior of sport people who often "neglect the simplest rules of public 
morals." The police authorities have stated publicly that they will show no mercy and will interne offending canoers in a concentration camp so they can there 
receive training in decent moral behavior. 

[99] to the concept of Christianity within the reactionary camp itself. 

National Socialist and Wilhelmian imperialism differ in that the mass-psychological basis of National Socialism 
is a pauperized middle class while that of the German Empire was a flourishing middle class. Therefore the 
Christianity of the Empire was different from that of National Socialism. Yet, the ideological changes that have 
been made do not change the basis of the mystic Weltanschauung in the least; rather, they accentuate its function. 

National Socialism, in the person of its ideological exponent Rosenberg, who belonged to the right wing, 
repudiated the Old Testament as "Jewish." Similarly, the internationalism of the Catholic church was branded as 
Jewish. The international church was to be replaced by the "German national church." After the seizure of power, 
the church was, indeed, "gleichgeschaltet"; this restricted the scope of its political power while at the same time it 
extended its ideological and moral sphere of influence considerably. 

No doubt one day the German people will find a form for their knowing and experiencing God, a form in keeping with its Nordic 
blood. Not until then will there be the complete trinity of blood, belief and the state" (Gottfried Feder, "Das Programm der NSDAP 
und seine weltanschaulichen Grundlagen"). 

An identification of the Jewish God with the Holy Trinity had to be avoided at all costs. The embarrassing fact 
was that Jesus himself was a Jew. But Stapel soon found a way out of the embarrassment: since Jesus was a son 
of God, he could not be considered a Jew. The Jewish dogmata and traditions were to be replaced by the 
"experiencing of one's own conscience," indulgence by the "idea of personal honor." 

The belief in a life hereafter is refuted as "witchcraft of the South Seas." The immaculate conception of the 
Virgin Mary was treated similarly. With regard to the latter, Scharnagel states: 

He [Rosenberg] confuses the dogma of the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin, i.e., her freedom from original sin, with 
the dogma of the virgin birth of Jesus. 

[100] The success of religious mysticism has always been great because its core has been the teaching of 
original sin, which means the sexual act for pleasure. National Socialism retains the motif and only utilizes it 
with a different ideology, one which serves its own purposes: 

The cross is the symbol of the teaching of the sacrificed lamb which ... by the horrible presentation of pain depresses us and makes 
us humble, as the tyrannical churches want us to be ... A German church will in time, in the churches it will take over, present, in 
place of the crucifixion, the teaching spirit of the fire, the hero in the highest sense of the word (Rosenberg, I.e., p. 577). 

It is only a matter of changing the fetters: Masochistic international religious mysticism is to be replaced by the 
sadistic narcissistic mysticism of Nationalism. Now it is a matter of 

recognizing German National honor as the ultimate yardstick of behavior. [The State] will give every religious belief every 
conceivable freedom and will in no way interfere with any kind of moral teachings — provided that they do not conflict with the 
preservation of national honor. 

(MEIN KAMPF — Translation by T.P.W.) 

As we have seen, the ideology of national honor derives from the authoritarian order, and this in turn from the 
sex-negating sexual order. Christianity and National Socialism alike support the institution of compulsive 
marriage. To the former it is — apart from procreation — "a full lifelong communion"; to the latter, it is a biological 
institution for the preservation of racial purity. Outside of compulsive marriage, they do not recognize a sexual 

National Socialism intends to maintain religion not on a historical but on a "present-day" basis. This is because 
of the disintegration of Christian sexual morality, a process which cannot be stemmed by pointing to historical 
necessity alone. 

The Volkische race state will have to find, sooner or later, its deepest anchoring in religion. Only when the belief in God is no 
longer con-[101]nected with a certain historical event of the past but with the specific being and acting of the people and the state as 
well as the individual, in an everlasting experience — only then will our world again have a solid basis. (Ludwig Haase, in 
Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte 1, Nr. 5, p. 213). 

We know what "specific being and acting" means: being "moral," that is, sex-negating. 

Nothing shows more clearly what in religion is not essential for its reactionary function and what is essential 
than the aspects in which the National Socialists felt they had to differentiate themselves from the church and 
those which they advocate in common with the church. 3 

3 True, the National Socialists rescinded the Prussian concordat (of July 7, 1929) and the Bavarian concordat (of July 5, 1930). But that was merely a matter 
of an endowment of 4,122,370 RM. On the other hand, the increase in church taxes in Bavaria to 19.7 million RM. in 1931 (a year of severe economic crisis) 
was not opposed (in 1914, these taxes were 5.87 million). The following data are from the article by Robert Boeck, "Konkordate sehen Dich an." According to 
the Bavarian concordat of January 25, 1925, the following concessions were made to the church: 

1 . The priests are state officials. 

2. The state admits that the secularization of 1817 did a severe injustice to the church and leaves it to the church to put in a claim for a return of the 
confiscated property or its value in money to the amount of sixty million goldmarks. 

3. The state is forced to use almost fifty per cent of the revenue from the state forests for the payment of a part of the duties to the church, i.e., it has pawned 
the forest revenues to the church, as it were. 

4. The church is entitled to levy taxes (church taxes) on the basis of the government tax lists. 

5. The church is entitled to acquire real estate. This is inviolable and protected by the state. 

6. The state is obliged to provide the high church dignitaries, at state expense, with residences "in keeping with their position and dignity." 

7. The church, its priests and 28,000 monks enjoy unrestricted freedom in the pursuit of their religious and industrial activities (books, beer, liqueur 

8. At the universities of Miinchen and Wurzburg a professor of philosophy and a professor of history must be engaged who have the confidence of the church 
and who teach only in conformity with the tenets of the church. 

9. The state guarantees religious education in the public schools. The bishop or his delegates have the right to object to improprieties in the public religious 
life of Catholic pupils and to unfavorable or undue [!] influence, and to demand remedy from the state authorities. 

According to a careful estimate, the concordat guaranteed to the Catholic church in Bavaria, in the form of cash, real estate, tax exemption, etc., a sum of one 
billion marks. The state of Bavaria paid to the Catholic church thirteen million marks in 1916; 28,468,400 marks in 1929; and 26,050,250 marks in 1931. 
[Continued p. 102] 

[102] The historical element, the dogmata, become meaningless if it is possible to replace their function by 
something else which is equally effective. National Socialism also wants the "religious experience." It only wants 
to put it on a different basis. What, then, is this "everlasting experience?" 

Nationalistic and family feelings are closely interlinked with more or less vague, more or less mystical, religious 
feelings. The literature on this subject is enormous. A detailed academic analysis of this field is — at least for the 
present — impossible. We go back to our main problem: If fascism builds so successfully on the mystical thinking 
and feeling of the masses, then it can be fought only if one comprehends mysticism and if one fights the mystical 
infestation of the masses with correct educational and medical measures. The progressive development of a 
scientific Weltanschauung is not sufficient because it is so slow that it falls farther and farther behind the mystical 
infestation. It does so because it has not comprehended mysticism. The scientific enlightenment of the masses 
was restricted in the main to the unmasking of the evil deeds of church officials. This left the overwhelming 
majority of the masses untouched. Scientific enlightenment appealed only to the intellect of the masses, not to 
their emotions. If, however, an individual has mystical feelings, then any unmasking of a church potentate leaves 
him cold, any presentation of the ways in which the state finances the church with the workers' pennies impresses 
him no more than the historical analysis of religion by Marx and Engels. 

True, the atheistic movements tried to employ emotional means also, such as the youth festivals arranged by the 
German freethinkers. In spite of all these attempts, the Christian youth organizations counted about thirty times as 
many members as those 

The service of the church to the state, then, must pay. The concordat between the Reich and the Vatican in 1933 did not result in any new, mass- 
psychologically important relationships between church and state. The antisexual function of the church remained intact. 

[103] of the Communist and Social Democratic parties. Between 1930 and 1932, the Christian youth 
organizations had about one and a half million members, the Communist about 50,000, the Social Democratic 
about 60,000, the National Socialist about 40,000. According to the "Proletarische Freidenkerstimme" of April, 
1932, the figures were as follows: 


Der katholische Jungmannerverbund Deutschlands 
Der Zentralverband katholischer 

Der Verband katholischer Junggesellenvereine 
Der Verband katholischer weiblicher suddeutscher 





Der Verband katholischer Buchervereine Bayerns 35,220 

Der Verband katholischer Schuler der hoheren 


"Neudeutschland" 15,290 
Katholischer Jugendbund werktatiger Madchen 

Deutschlands 8,000 

Reichsverband deutscher Windhorstbunde 10,000 

An important point is the social composition. In the Catholic Young Men's Association it was as follows: 

Workers 45.6% 

Artisans 21.6% 

Agricultural Youth 18.7% 

Business 5.9% 

Students 4.8% 

Salaried employees 3.3% 

The industrial workers constituted the overwhelming majority. The age distribution in 1929 was the following: 

14-17 years 51.0% 

17-21 years 28.3% 

21-25 years 13.5% 

Above 25 years 7.1% 

That is, four fifths of the members were of adolescent and post-adolescent age. 

[104] While in the struggle for winning over these youths the Communists stressed the class angle at the 
expense of ideological problems, the Catholic organization did the exact opposite: its stand was with the cultural 
and ideological front. The Communists wrote: 

If clear-cut, consistent work is done, the cultivation of class consciousness will prove stronger even in young Catholics than the 
questions of Weltanschauung . . . We must not put ideological problems in the foreground, but the class problem, the misery which 
binds us all together. 

The leadership of Catholic youth, on the other hand, wrote (in Jungarbeiter, Nr. 17, 1931): 

Reaching of young workers and workers' children at an early age is the strongest point and the greatest danger of the Communist 
party. We welcome the fact that the Reich government . . . opposes the Communist party with the strongest measures. In particular, 
we expect the German government to take the strongest measures against the Communists' fight against the church and religion. 

In Berlin there were, in the censorship offices for the "protection of youth" from obscene literature, 
representatives of eight Catholic organizations. In an appeal of the Catholic Center youth in 1932 we find the 

We demand that the State protect the Christian cultural heritage with all available means against a poisonous press, pornographic 
literature and against an erotic film production which debases or falsifies the National character . . . 

The church, then, defended its mystical function at a different point from the focus of attack by the Communist movement. 

It is the task of freethinking proletarian youth to show to the young Christian workers the role of the church and its organizations in 
the carrying out of fascisization measures . . . 

wrote the Freidenkerstimme. The question is, why did the masses [105] of the young Christian workers prove 

resistant to this appeal? Why did they not, as the Communists expected they would, see for themselves the 
"capitalistic function" of the church? Obviously, because they had acquired a structure which made them 
credulous and incapable of criticism. The fact should not be overlooked, furthermore, that the representatives of 
the church took an anri-capitalistic stand in the youth organizations, so that the youths did not see any evident 
contradiction in the social attitudes of the Communists and the priests. It seemed as if a sharp line of distinction 
could be drawn only in the realm of sexuality. It seemed as if the Communists, in contradistinction to the church, 
had a positive attitude toward adolescent sexuality. Soon it turned out, however, that the Communist 
organizations not only neglected this decisive subject altogether, but felt in harmony with the church in their 
condemnation and inhibition of adolescent sexuality. The measures of the Communists against the German 
Sexpol — an organization which set into focus the problems of adolescent sexuality and attempted a solution of 
it — were no less sharp than those of many representatives of the church. A fact which fits into this picture is that 
the Communist pastor Salkind, who also was a psychoanalyst, became a Soviet Russian authority in the field of 

It was not sufficient to state the fact that the authoritarian state had at its complete disposal the parental home, 
the church and the school for the purpose of tying youth to its system and ideology. These institutions could not 
be shaken because they were protected by the full power of the state; their abolition would presuppose the social 
revolution. On the other hand, the undermining of the reactionary effects of these institutions was one of the 
essential prerequisites of the social revolution. This is what many Communists termed the main task of the "Red 
cultural front." The fulfillment of this task was impossible without a knowledge of the ways and means in which 
authoritarian parental home, school and church were able to exert such an influence on youth, without a 
knowledge of the process set in motion in youth by this influence. Such generalizations as "enslavement" or 
"stulti-[106]fication" would not do. "Enslavement" and "stultification" are already a result. The question was, 
what were the processes which led to the success of the dictatorial interests. 

The role of the suppression of adolescent sex life in this process has been described in my book, DER SEXUELLE 
KAMPF DER JUGEND. In the context of the present analysis, we have to find out what are the basic elements of 
reactionary cultural politics and, with that, what are the emotional elements on which revolutionary work must be 
based. Here, also, we must follow the principle of paying the closest attention to that which the cultural reaction 
places in the foreground; for that is not done accidentally, nor as a "diversion manoeuvre," but because these 
things are the central battlefield of revolutionary versus reactionary Weltanschauung and politics. 

We must avoid the attack on the ideological and cultural front — the center of which is the sexual question — as 
long as we do not have the necessary knowledge and training to attack successfully. But if we succeed in gaining 
a solid basis in the cultural question, we are equipped with the means to prepare the way for work democracy. It 
has to be said again: the sexual inhibition of the average adolescent blocks his way to rational thinking and 
feeling. We must be able to counter mysticism with appropriate means. This requires a knowledge of its 

We select arbitrarily one among many typical books, DER BOLSCHEWISMUS ALS TODFEIND UND 
WEGBEREITER DER RELIGION, by pastor Braumann (1931). We might pick any other one; the essential 
arguments are always the same, and differences in detail are not important here. 

Every religion is liberation from the world and its forces by union with God. For this reason, bolshevism will not be able 
completely to put people in chains as long as there is any religion left in them. (Braumann, p. 12) 

True, here the function of mysticism is expressed in so many words: the function of "liberating from the world," 
of diverting attention from everyday misery, to prevent a rebellion against [107] the true causes of the misery. But 
scientific findings concerning the sociological function of mysticism will not get us far. Of particular importance 
for practical work against mysticism are the experiences gathered in discussions between youths with a scientific 
and with a mystical orientation. Such discussions point the way to an understanding of mysticism, that is, to the 

mystical feeling of the mass individual. 

An organization of workers' youth had invited a Protestant pastor to a discussion of the economic crisis. He 
appeared, flanked by about twenty Christian youths of about eighteen to twenty-five years. In his talk, he showed 
a tendency to jump from partially correct statements of fact into mysticism. The causes of all the misery, he said, 
were the war and the Young Plan. The world war was an expression of human sinfulness. The exploitation by the 
capitalists also was a sin (this typical attitude illustrates the difficulty of counteracting the influence of a mystic: 
he himself voiced an anti-capitalistic attitude, thus appealing to the anti-capitalistic feeling of Christian youths). 
Capitalism and Socialism, he said, were essentially the same thing. The socialism of the Soviet Union was a kind 
of capitalism; the socialist order meant hardships for certain classes as capitalism meant hardship for others. Any 
kind of capitalism had to be "hit in the puss." The fight of bolshevism against religion was a crime. Religion, he 
said, did not cause the misery, but the fact that capitalism misused religion. (The pastor was definitely 
progressive.) What followed from all this? Since people were bad and sinful, the misery could not be eliminated 
at all, one had to bear it and to make the best of it. The capitalist, he said, was not happy either. The inner misery, 
which was the important thing, would not be eliminated by the third Five-year plan of the Soviet Union either. 

Some revolutionary youths tried to explain their standpoint. It was not a matter of the individual capitalist, they 
said, but of the "system." It was a question of whether the majority or only a small minority were suppressed. The 
advice to bear the misery meant only its prolongation and an aid to reaction. And so on. At the end, everybody 
agreed that a bridging of the gap was not [108] possible, that everybody was leaving with the same convictions 
with which he had come. The attention of the pastor's youthful companions was glued to the lips of their leader. 
They seemed to be just as poor as the Communist youths, and yet, every one of them agreed with the position that 
there was nothing that could be done about the misery, that one had to make the best of it and "trust in God." 

Afterwards, I asked a few Communist youths why they had not brought up what was the main point on the part 
of the church, adolescent abstinence. They said that was too difficult and too dangerous; that would cause an 
explosion and it was not customary to bring it up in political discussions. 

At about the same time a mass meeting took place in a Western district of Berlin at which representatives of the 
church and representatives of the Communist party presented their respective views. A good half of the audience 
of about eighteen hundred consisted of Christians and middle class people. I presented the sex-economic 
viewpoint in the form of a few questions: 

1 . The church contends that the use of contraceptives, like any interference with natural procreation, is against 
nature. Now, if nature is so strict and so wise, why has it created a sexual apparatus which impels to sexual 
intercourse not only when one wants children, but on an average of two to three thousand times in the period of 
adult life? 

2. Will the representatives of the church who are present here openly state whether they have sexual intercourse 
only when they want to create children? (They were Protestant pastors.) 

3. Why did God create two kinds of glands in the sexual apparatus, one for sexual excitation and one for 

4. Why do infants develop a sexuality, long before the function of procreation develops? 

The stammering answers of the church representatives evoked a roar of laughter. I then explained the role of the 
negation of the pleasure function on the part of the church and of reactionary science; that the suppression of 
sexual gratification had precisely the function of making people submissive and resigned, incapable [109] of 
rebelling against their economic position. With that, the whole audience was on my side. The mystics were 

Extensive experience in mass meetings shows that people readily understand the reactionary political role of 
mysticism in connection with sexual suppression if one presents the right to sexual gratification clearly and 
directly from the medical and social point of view. This fact requires detailed substantiation. 


"Anti-bolshevist" propaganda states that "bolshevism" is the "consistent enemy of any religion," particularly of 
"valuable" religion. Due to its "materialism," bolshevism knows only material goods and is interested only in 
producing material goods. It has not the slightest understanding of intellectual and psychic values. 

What, then, are these 'intellectual and psychic values"? Faith and belief are often mentioned, but otherwise the 
phraseology dissolves into a vague concept of "individuality": 

Because bolshevism wants to kill anything that is individual, it destroys the family which always gives a person an individual 
stamp. This is why bolshevism hates any nationalist strivings. All peoples should be as similar as possible . . . All efforts at 
destroying personal individuality, however, will be in vain as long as there is any religion left in people, because in religion personal 
freedom from the external world is again and again achieved. 

When the mystic says "bolshevism" he does not refer to the political party founded by Lenin. He does not have 
the faintest idea of the sociological controversies of the turn of the century. "Communist," "Bolshevist" or "Red" 
have become slogans of the reactionary which have nothing at all to do with politics, party or economics. These 
slogans are as irrational as the word "Jew" when used by the Fascists. They express the antisexual attitude of 
mystical and reactionary individuals. Thus the Fascists called Roosevelt a "Jew" and a "Red." In the eyes of the 
church hierarchy Bertrand Russel is a Bolshevist. These irrational slogans are always provoked by what is alive 
and sexual, even though those [110] to whom they are applied are far from any affirmation of infantile and 
adolescent sexuality. The Russian Communists were farther from the affirmation of sexuality than any American 
middle class individual. If one wants to fight mysticism, the core of all political reaction, one will have to 
comprehend the irrationalism of slogans. Wherever in the following pages "bolshevism" is mentioned, one should 
think of "orgasm anxiety" at the same time. 

The fascist reactionary assumes a close relationship between family, nation and religion, a fact which 
sociological research hitherto has completely overlooked. The formulation that religion means "freedom from the 
external world" confirms the sex-economic clinical finding that religion is a substitute for the gratification which 
is lacking in real life; this is in accord with Marx's statement that religion acts on the masses like opium. This is 
not a mere simile. Vegetotherapy demonstrated that the mystical experience in fact sets in motion the same 
processes in the autonomic life apparatus as an opiate. They are processes of excitation in the sexual apparatus 
which cause conditions similar to intoxication and which call for orgastic gratification. 

But we must first study the connections between mystical feeling and family feeling. Braumann writes, in the 
manner which is typical of reactionary ideology: 

Bolshevism, however, has yet another means of destroying religion, and that is through systematic destruction of marital and family 
life. Bolshevism knows only too well that the strong forces of religious life stem from the family. For this reason, marriage and 
divorce are being facilitated to such an extent that the Russian marriage approaches free love. 

With regard to the "culture-destroying" effect of the Soviet-Russian five-day week, Braumann states: 

This serves the purpose of destroying family life as well as religion . . . Most serious are the destructions which bolshevism has 
wrought in the sexual field. By its destruction of marital and family life it [1 1 1] furthers immoral excesses of every kind, including 
incestuous relations between siblings and between parents and children. [This refers to the abolition of the punishment for incest.] 
Bolshevism does not know any moral inhibitions. 

In Soviet Russian literature, instead of countering such reactionary attacks with an exact presentation of the 
natural sexual process, attempts were made to defend oneself by pointing out that it was not true that sexual life in 
the Soviet Union was "immoral"; that the marriages were again being consolidated, etc. Such attempts at defense 
were not only politically ineffective; they also did not correspond to the facts. Sexual life in the Soviet Union 
was, in fact, "immoral" from the Christian point of view; there could be no question of the consolidation of 

marriage, because the institution of marriage in the sense of the authoritarian and mystical concept had indeed 
been abolished. Until about 1928 there was in the Soviet Union, legally and practically, pairing marriage. Russian 
Communism, then, did loosen the structure of compulsive marriage and of the compulsive family and it did away 
with moralism. 4 What should have been done, in addition, was to make the mass individuals conscious of their 
conflict: of the fact that they longed very strongly for that which the social revolution attempted to bring about, 
while at the same time they were moralistic. To do this, however, presupposes clarity about the connections 
between compulsive family, mysticism and sexuality. 

We have shown that the nationalistic feeling is a direct continuation of the authoritarian family feeling. But 
mystical feeling, also, is a source of nationalistic ideology. That is, both patriarchal family attitudes and mystical 
attitudes are the basic mass-psychological elements of fascist and imperialist nationalism. Thus the fact that 
mystical education prepares the soil for fascism is dem- 

4 [1945]: In the meantime, compulsive marriage has been reintroduced in the Soviet Union. Sexual legislation there is now far more reactionary than in other 
countries. This is only the consequence of the general authoritarian development of Russian sex politics since about 1934. Cf. The Sexual Revolution, 
Orgone Institute Press, 1945. 

[1 12]onstrated on a mass-psychological scale when a social crisis sets the masses in motion. 
In the New York Times of August 14, 1942, Otto D. Tolischus wrote on the imperialistic ideology of the 
Japanese as follows: 

A startling revelation of the Japanese war mind, as well as the ambitions prevalent not only in the military and ultra-nationalist 
cliques now dominating the Japanese Government but also among the intelligentsia, is contained in a booklet issued in Tokyo in 
February of this year by Professor Chikao Fujisawa, one of the leading exponents of Japan's political thought and philosophy. 

According to this booklet, which was made up for widest distribution, Japan, as the original motherland of the human race and 
world civilization, is fighting a holy war to reunite warring mankind into one universal family household in which each nation will 
take its proper place under the divine sovereignty of the Japanese Emperor, who is a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess in the 
"absolute cosmic life-center," from which the nations have strayed and to which they must return. 

In its general argument the booklet merely summarizes, systematizes and applies to the present war the ideas derived from Shinto 
mythology that Japanese politicians under the leadership of Yosuke Matsuoka developed into an imperialistic dogma to justify 
Japan's expansion policy. But for that very reason it appeals to all the religious, racial and national ideas and emotions most deeply 
ingrained in the Japanese nature. In that sense Professor Fujisawa is a sort of Japanese Nietzsche and Wagner and his pamphlet 
becomes the Japanese equivalent of Adolf Hitler's MELN KAMPF. 

As was the case with MEIN KAMPF, the outside world has paid little attention to this trend in Japanese thought, which is either 
regarded as pure phantasy or relegated to the field of theology. But for years it has furnished the ideological background for Japan's 
expansion policy, which led to the present war, and the last Japanese notes to the United States cannot be understood without 
reference to it. 

The authoritative nature of the booklet is indicated by the fact Professor Fujisawa has been a permanent Japanese representative in 
the secretariat of the League of Nations and professor of political science in Kyushu Imperial University and has published 
numerous works in various languages on Japanese political science. He is now director of [1 13] the research department of the 
Imperial Rule Assistance Association, created to organize the Japanese people for war, and is charged with making such ideas 
effective throughout the world. 

The flavor of the booklet is amply illustrated by the first few paragraphs, which read: 

"Japan is often called in our poetic language 'Sumera Mikuni,' which conveys somewhat the meaning of divine clime, all- 
integrating and all-embracing. By keeping in mind its philosophic implications one will be able to grasp the keynote of the imperial 
rescript issued September 27, 1939, at the time of the conclusion of the Tripartite pact. Therein our gracious Tenno proclaimed 
solemnly that the cause of great justice should be extended to the far ends of the earth so as to turn the world into one household and 
thus enable all nations to secure their due places. This significant passage in the rescript will clarify the very character of our august 
sovereign, ever anxious to act as head of an all-embracing universal family, in the bosom of which to all nations shall be allotted 
their respective posts in a dynamic order of harmony and cooperation. 

"It is incumbent upon our Tenno to do his best to restore the 'absolute cosmic life-center' and reconstruct the fundamental vertical 
order once prevalent among nations in remote antiquity; by so doing he wishes to transform the present-day lawless and chaotic 
world, where the weak are left to fall prey to the strong, into one large family community in which perfect concord and consummate 

harmony shall prevail. 

"This is the objective of the divine mission that Japan has been called on to fulfill from time immemorial. In a word, it is to 
permeate the whole world and earth with the cosmic vitality embodied in our divine sovereign, so that all segregated national units 
may be led to reunite themselves spiritually with the sincere feeling of brothers sharing the same blood. 

"Only in this way will all nations of the world be induced to abandon their individualistic attitude, which finds expression first of 
all in current international law." 

This, says Professor Fujisawa, is "the way of the gods," and, after explaining this in mystical terms, he continues: 

"In this light one can well understand that capitalistic individualism prevalent in the United States runs counter to the cosmic truth, 
for it ignores the all-embracing life-center and deals exclusively with [114] rampancy and unbridled ego. Dictatorial communism, 
elevated to an official doctrine by Soviet Russia, proves likewise irreconcilable with the cosmic truth, since it tends to disregard 
personal initiative and merely exercises drastic bureaucratic control of the State. 

"It is noteworthy that the guiding principle of National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy have much in common with the Musubi 
principle, one of many distinguishing these Axis powers from the democracies and the Soviet Union. It is because of this spiritual 
solidarity that Japan, Germany and Italy have been prompted to present a common front against those powers defending the old 
order. " 

Sumera Mikuni, Professor Fujisawa explains, is at war with the administrations of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister 
Churchill, which have been eager for realization of their "inordinate ambition" to dominate the Orient. But thanks to the earnest 
prayers offered by Sumera Mikoto (the Japanese Emperor) day and night to the spirit of the Sun Goddess, divine power has at last 
mobilized to deal a thoroughgoing blow to those revolting against the inviolable cosmic law. 

In fact, Professor Fujisawa writes, "the present Greater East Asia is virtually a second descent of the grandchild (of the Sun 
Goddess, the mythological ancestor of the Japanese dynasty), who perpetuates himself in the everlasting life of Sumera Mikoto." 

Wherefore, Professor Fujisawa concludes: 

"The holy war launched by Sumera Mikuni will sooner or later awaken all nations to the cosmic truth that their respective national 
lives issued forth from the one absolute life-center embodied by Sumera Mikoto and that peace and harmony cannot be realized 
otherwise than by reorganizing them into one all-embracing family system under the guidance of Sumera Mikoto. " 

Piously Professor Fujisawa adds: 

"This noble idea should not be considered in any sense in the light of imperialism, under which weak nations are mercilessly 
subjugated. " 

Startling as these ideas may appear, even more startling is Professor Fujisawa's "scientific" basis for them. Although all Japanese 
chronicles and histories admit that at the foundation of the Japanese Empire, which the Japanese Government has put at 2600 B.C. 
but which historians date around the beginning of the Christian era, the inhabitants of the Japanese isles were still primitive savages, 
some of whom were "men with tails" living in trees, Professor Fujisawa blandly advances [115] the claim that Japan is the 
motherland of the entire human race and its civilization. 

Recent discoveries and rare archives in Japan, supplemented by the writings of some Western authorities, Professor Fujisawa 
explains, prove "the wonderful fact that in the prehistoric age mankind formed a single world-wide family system with Sumera 
Mikoto as its head, and Japan was highly respected as the land of parents while all other lands were called lands of children of 
branch lands." 

As proof of this the professor cites a world map prepared by "a certain Hilliford in 1280" on which "East is located on top and the 
space occupied by the Japanese is named 'Kingdom of Heaven.' " 
Professor Fujisawa continues: 

"Eminent scholars preoccupied with thoroughgoing researches regarding the prehistoric chronicles of Japan are unanimous in 
concluding that the cradle of mankind was neither the Pamir Plateau nor the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates, but the middle 
mountainous region of the Japanese mainland. This new theory concerning the origins of humanity is attracting the keen attention of 
those who confidently look to Japan's divine mission for the salvation of disoriented mankind." 

According to this professorial thesis, the Sumerians, who are believed to have founded Babylonian civilization, from which all 
other civilizations, including those of Egypt, Greece and Rome, blossomed, are identical with the early Japanese settlers at Erdu, and 
this, says Professor Fujisawa, explains the correspondence between the prehistoric accounts of Japan and the Old Testament. The 
same, he says, is true of the Chinese, who he insists were civilized by Japan, instead of the other way around. Yet Japanese histories 
record that the Japanese did not learn to read or write till the Koreans and Chinese taught them, around 400 A.D. 

Unfortunately, says the professor, "the world order, with Japan functioning as its absolute unifying center, collapsed in 
consequence of repeated earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tidal waves and glaciers, and due to these tremendous cataclysms 
all mankind became estranged geographically and spiritually from the parent land of Japan." 

But, it seems, Sumera Mikuni "was immune miraculously from all these natural catastrophies, and its divine sovereigns, Sumera 
Mikoto, [116] enjoying lineage unbroken for ages eternal, have appointed to themselves the sacred mission of remolding this 

floating dismembered mankind into a large family community such as existed in prehistoric ages." 

"Obviously," Professor Fujisawa adds, "none is better qualified than Sumera Mikoto to accomplish this divine work of saving 

Tolischus misinterprets the phenomena he describes. He believes that it is a matter of a conscious mystical 
obfuscation of a rational imperialism. His facts, however, show clearly that sex-economy is correct in reducing all 
forms of fascist, imperialistic, dictatorial mysticism to the mystification of vegetative life sensations, to their 
mystical distortion as it is brought about by the patriarchal authoritarian order of family and state. 

While the national feeling derives from the mother fixation (homeland feeling), the mystical feeling derives 
from the anti-sexual atmosphere which is inextricably linked with this family fixation. The authoritarian family 
fixation presupposes the inhibition of sensual sexuality. Without exception, all children in any patriarchal society 
are exposed to this inhibition. No matter how "free" and "uninhibited" later sexual activities may be, they cannot 
hide this deep-seated inhibition. More than that, the pathological manifestations in sexual life, such as 
promiscuity, sexual restlessness, perversions, etc., are the result of the inhibition of the capacity for orgastic 
experience. The inevitable result of this orgastic impotence which authoritarian education brings about by 
unconscious guilt feelings and sexual anxiety is a constant unconscious orgastic longing which is accompanied 
by sensations of tension in the region of the solar plexus. There is a good physiological reason for the fact that 
everyday language localizes the feeling of longing in chest and abdomen. 5 

The continued tension in the psychophysical organism is the basis of daydreaming in the child and adolescent 
which readily continues in the form of mystical, sentimental and religious feelings. This characterizes the 
atmosphere of the mystical, authoritarian individual. In this way, the average child acquires a struc- 

5 Cf. the clinical presentation in The Function of the Orgasm, 1942. 

[1 17]ture which cannot help but absorb the influence of nationalism, mysticism and superstition of any kind as 
avidly as a dry sponge absorbs water. The reaction of the biopsychic apparatus is the same when it reacts to 
gruesome fairy tales, later to mystery thrillers, to the mysterious atmosphere of the church and, finally, to 
militaristic and nationalistic display. 

For an evaluation of the effects of mysticism it is irrelevant whether the mystical individual presents a rough or 
even a brutal surface. What matters is the processes in the depth of the personality. The sentimentality and the 
religious mysticism of such criminals as Matuschka, Haarman or Kiirten have the closest relationship with their 
sadistic cruelty. As opposite as these traits may be on the surface, they have one and the same origin: an insatiable 
vegetative longing which is produced by sexual inhibition and which is barred from natural gratification. The 
repressed energies find partial outlet in the sadistic muscular discharge and are in another part, due to guilt 
feelings, channelled into mystical religious feeling. The fact that the child murderer Kiirten was sexually 
disturbed was evident from the testimony of his wife; yet, it did not strike the psychiatric "expert." Sadistic 
brutality and mystical feeling go always hand in hand when the normal capacity for orgastic experience is 
lacking. This was as true of the inquisitors of the medieval church, of the cruel and mystical Philip II of Spain, as 
it is of any modern mass murderer. 6 Where a hysteria fails to absorb the energies in anxious impotence, or a 
compulsion neurosis in senseless and grotesque compulsive symptoms, the patriarchal authoritarian order 
provides ample opportunity for discharging the energies in sadism and mysticism. The pathological character of 
such modes of behavior is camouflaged by their social rationalization. It would be a worthwhile project to study 
the sociology of the diverse mystical sects in America, the Buddhistic ideology in India, the diverse theosophic 
and anthroposophic schools, etc., as socially important manifestations of the patriarchal sexual order. All that 
need be said here is that the mystical organizations are only a crystallization of facts which 

6 Cf. De Coster's masterwork Till Ulenspiegel. 

[118] can be found, in a more diffuse and less tangible form, in all strata of people. The degree of mystical, 
sentimental and sadistic feelings corresponds exactly to the degree of the disturbance of natural orgastic 
experience. Close observation of the audience of a trashy thriller or of a boxing match teaches more about these 
problems than a hundred handbooks of sexology. As different as the contents of mystical experience may be, they 
all have the same sex-economic basis. Compare with that the realistic, unsentimental experience of real 
revolutionaries, of genuine scientific searchers or of healthy adolescents! 

One might object here that the primitive who lives naturally in a matriarchal order also has mystical feelings. It 
can be shown that what appears to be the same thing is, nevertheless, entirely different in the matriarchal as 
compared with the patriarchal individual. The relationship between religion and sexuality changed with the 
advent of patriarchy: while originally it was essentially a religion of sexuality, it turned into the enemy of 
sexuality. The "mysticism" of the sex-affirming matriarchal primitive is not due to sexual suppression as is the 
mysticism of the patriarchal individual. It is in part immediate orgastic experience and in part animistic 
interpretation of natural processes. 



The social revolution concentrates all its strength on the elimination of the social basis of human suffering. The 
primary necessity for revolution in the social order obscures the sex-economic intentions and goals. The 
revolutionary is forced to postpone the solution of important problems, as urgent as they may be, until such time 
as the most urgent task, that of creating the prerequisites for their solution, is fulfilled. The reactionary, on the 
other hand, fights most violently against precisely those ultimate cultural goals of the revolution which have to be 
postponed in favor of the preliminary tasks which prepare the ground. 

"Kulturbolschewismus strives for the disintegration of our historical culture and wants to replace it by a new 
culture which [119] serves only the earthly happiness of people," wrote Kurt Hutten in his 
KULTURBOLSCHEWISMUS (1931). Does political reaction, in its accusations, hit upon that which the cultural 
revolution really intends to bring about, or does it, for reasons of demagogy, impute goals to the revolution which 
are not intended by it? In the former case, a clarification of the necessity of these goals is indicated; in the latter 
case, only disproof of the imputation. 

How does political reaction evaluate the antithesis of earthly happiness and religion? Kurt Hutten writes: 

To begin with, the most embittered fight of Kulturbolschewismus is that against religion. For religion, as long as it is alive, is the 
strongest bastion against its goal . . . Religion subjects all human life to a supernatural, eternal authority. It demands denial, sacrifice, 
the renunciation of desire. It gives human life an atmosphere of responsibility, guilt, judgment, eternity. It inhibits an unrestricted 
living out of human impulses. Cultural revolution is cultural revolution of the human, it is subjugation of all fields of life under the 
idea of happiness. (Italics are mine. — W. R.) 

Here, the reactionary negation of earthly happiness is expressed in so many words. The reactionary senses the 
danger to the structural anchoring of imperialistic mysticism (which is what he calls "culture"). He is much more 
aware of this danger than the revolutionary is conscious of his ultimate goal because the latter concentrates his 
efforts on changing social conditions. The reactionary recognizes the danger which the revolution represents to 
the authoritarian family and to mystical moralism. He recognizes it at a time when the average revolutionary has 
not begun to have an inkling of such consequences of the revolution. The reactionary advocates heroism, self- 
sacrifice and renunciation in an absolute, eternal way; in doing so, he advocates the interests of imperialism, 
whether he wants to or not (cf. Japan). To do that, however, he needs mysticism, that is, in the last analysis, 
sexual renunciation. By happiness he means essentially sexual gratification. And of course, this definition is, in 
itself, correct. The revolutionary also demands a great deal of duty and renunciation, because the pos- 
[ 1 20] sibilities for happiness must first be fought for. In his practical work with the masses he forgets only too 

readily the real goal, which is not work (social freedom brings with it progressive reduction of working hours) but 
sexual play and life in all its forms, from the orgasm to the highest achievements of the intellect. True, work is 
and will remain the basis of life, but in a work-democratic society less work has to be done by the individual to 
the extent to which it is taken over by the machines. This is what rationalization of work means. 

Sentences like the following are found in many mystical and reactionary writings though not as clearly 
formulated as by Hutten: 

Kulturbolschewismus is nothing new. It is based on a striving which humanity has had since its earliest days: the longing for 
happiness. It is the eternal nostalgia for paradise on earth . . . The religion of faith is replaced by the religion of pleasure. 

We, on the other hand, ask: Why not happiness on earth? Why should not pleasure be the content of life? If one 
were to put this question to a general vote, no reactionary ideology could stand up. 

The reactionary also recognizes, though in a mystical manner, the connection between mysticism and 
compulsive marriage and family: 

Because of this responsibility (for the possible consequences of pleasure), society has created the institution of marriage which, as a 
lifelong union, provides the protective frame for the sexual relationship. 

Right after this, we find the whole register of "cultural values" which, in the framework of reactionary ideology, 
fit together like the parts of a machine: 

Marriage as a tie, the family as a duty, the fatherland as value of its own, morality as authority, religion as obligation from eternity. 

[121] It would be impossible better to describe the rigidity of human plasma! 

The reactionary of any kind condemns sexual pleasure because it stimulates and repulses him at the same time. 
He is unable to solve the conflict within him between sexual demands and moralistic inhibitions. The 
revolutionary refutes the perverse, unhealthy kind of pleasure, because it is not his kind of pleasure, because it is 
not the sexuality of the future, but the sexuality which results from the conflict between instinct and morals, the 
sexuality of authoritarian society, a debased, smutty, pathological sexuality. He may easily make the mistake of 
stopping at the condemnation of pathological pleasure, instead of opposing it with his own positive sex-economy. 
If, as a result of his own sexual inhibitions, he does not clearly see the goal of a free social order, he will deny not 
only pathological pleasure but pleasure per se, will become an ascetic and lose any chances of influencing youth 
in a positive sense. In the otherwise excellent Soviet film "The Road to Life" the average pathological sexuality is 
contrasted not with free, sex-economically regulated sexuality, but with asceticism, that is, antisexuality; the 
sexual problem of youth is simply excluded from consideration. The disintegration of moralistic forms of sexual 
living expresses itself at first as rebellion. This rebellion inevitably takes pathological forms. It is a matter of 
recognizing the fact that it is healthy forces which try to break through in these pathological forms, and of guiding 
this rebellion into rational channels, to a sex-economic regulation. Here, too, the freedom of life is born out of the 
convulsions of life. 




In a mass meeting in Berlin, in January 1933, the National Socialist Otto Strasser asked his opponent, the 
sociologist and sinologist Wittfogel, a striking question which made the listener feel that had it been answered, 
mysticism would have been shaken to its foundations. Strasser reproached the Marxists with underestimating the 

importance of psychic life and religious experience. If religion, according to Marx, was nothing more than an 
embellishment of the exploitation of the workers, then one could not understand how religion could maintain 
itself for thousands of years, in particular, how the Christian religion could maintain itself, almost unchanged, for 
two thousand years; all the more so because, in its early stages, its maintenance required greater sacrifices than all 
revolutions put together. The question remained unanswered, and is important in the context of this book. The 
question was justified as an admonition from the mystical opponent to ask oneself whether natural science had 
really comprehended mysticism and the means of its anchoring. The answer had to be in the negative: science had 
been unable to comprehend the enormous emotional power of mysticism. This in spite of the fact that the 
representatives of mysticism, in their writings and sermons, had presented the solution of the problem as clearly 
and openly as could be. The sex-political character of mysticism is obvious. Yet, it was as thoroughly overlooked 
by the freethinkers as the equally obvious sexuality of the child had been overlooked by the most famous 
educators. Clearly, mysticism is in the possession of a hidden bastion which it defended against science with all 
available means, even before science had an [123] inkling of the fact that there are such mechanisms of 


I shall not present here an extensive study of religious feeling but merely give a resume of what is already 
known. The phenomena of orgastic excitation meet at a certain point with the problem of religious excitation, 
ranging, as it does, from the simplest pious belief to full-fledged religious ecstasy. The concept of religious 
excitation should not be restricted to the sensations which deeply religious people experience, say, during a 
religious service. Rather, we must include in this concept all phenomena which have in common a certain psychic 
and somatic excitation, such as, say, the excitation of masses when listening to a beloved leader in whom they 
believe, or the excitation caused by an overwhelming natural phenomenon. Let us begin by summarizing what 
was known about religious phenomena previous to sex-economic investigation. 

Sociological research showed that the forms of religions and various elements of their contents depend on the 
development of socio-economic conditions. Animal religions, for example, correspond to the mode of living of 
primitive hunting peoples. The human conception of divine, supernatural beings is always determined by the 
relative stage of economics and culture. Religious ideas are also essentially determined by man's ability to master 
nature and social difficulties. Helplessness in the face of natural forces, as well as major social catastrophes, 
makes for the production of religious ideology. 

The sociological explanation of religion, then, refers to the socio-economic soil in which religious cults grow. It 
has nothing to say either about the dynamics of religious ideology nor about the psychic process at work in the 
people who harbor this ideology. The formation of religious cults, then, is independent of the will of individuals; 
they are sociological formations, stemming from the relationships between people and from their relationship to 

[124] The psychology of the unconscious, Freud's psychoanalysis, complemented the sociological with the 
psychological interpretation of religion. While sociology had explored the social roots of religious cults, 
psychology now explored the psychological process in the people who are subject to these objective religious 
cults. Thus psychoanalysis found that the idea of God is identical with the idea of father, the idea of the Mother of 
God with the idea of the mother of each religious individual. In the trinity of Christian religion, the triangle of 
father, mother and child finds its immediate representation. The psychic contents of religion stem from the 
infantile family situation. 

Psychological study, then, explained the contents of religious cults; it failed, however, to reveal the energy 
which enabled them to gain such a firm hold on people. In particular, the question remained obscure as to why 
religious ideas are invested with such intense feelings. Also obscure were the questions: why were the ideas of an 
all-powerful father and a benevolent mother translated into mystical terms, and what was their relationship with 

the sexual life of the individual. 

A great many sociologists have long since pointed out the orgastic character of many patriarchal religions. 
Similarly, it was shown that patriarchal religions are always politically reactionary. In every class society, they 
are in the service of the powers that be; they prevent the elimination of the prevailing mass misery by claiming it 
to be willed by God and by referring demands for happiness to the hereafter. 

Sex-economic investigation was concerned with the following further questions: 

1 . In what manner do the ideas of God, the ideologies of sin and punishment — which are produced by society 
and reproduced by the family — become anchored in the individual? In other words, what compels humans not 
only to accept these religious ideas, not to feel them as a burden, but, on the contrary, to uphold and fervently 
defend them, at the sacrifice of their most primitive life interests? 

[125] 2. At what time does this anchoring of the religious ideas take place? 

3. What energy makes it possible? 

Clearly, without an answer to these three questions, a sociological and psychological interpretation of religion is 
possible, it is true, but no real alteration of human structure can be achieved. For if the religious ideas are not 
forced upon the humans but — contrary to their life interests — are absorbed and retained by them, then we are 
dealing with a structural alteration of the humans themselves. 

The basic religious idea in all patriarchal religions is the negation of the sexual needs. Only in very primitive 
religions were religiosity and sexuality identical. When social organization passed from matriarchy to patriarchy 
and class society, the unity of religious and sexual cult underwent a split; the religious cult became the antithesis 
of the sexual. With that, the cult of sexuality went out of existence. It was replaced by the brothel, pornography 
and backstairs- sexuality. It goes without saying that when sexual experiences ceased to be one with the religious 
cults, when, instead, they became antithetical to them, religious excitation assumed a new function: that of being 
a substitute for the lost sexual pleasure, now no longer affirmed by society. Only this contradiction inherent in 
religious excitation makes the strength and the tenacity of the religions understandable: the contradiction of its 
being at one and the same time anft sexual and a substitute for sexuality. 

The structure of the genuinely religious individual can be briefly described as follows: Biologically, he is subject 
to states of sexual tension like any other living being. But, through the assimilation of the sex-negating religious 
ideas in general and the fear of punishment in particular, he has lost all capacity for natural sexual excitation and 
gratification. As a result, he suffers from a chronic state of excessive somatic excitation which he is constantly 
forced to master. Happiness in this world is not only unattainable for him, but it does not even seem desirable to 
him. [126] Since he expects happiness in the hereafter, he develops a feeling of being incapable of happiness in 
this world. But, being a biological organism and thus unable to renounce happiness, relaxation and satisfaction, 
there is only one thing left for him to do: to seek the illusory happiness provided by the religious forepleasure 
excitations, the well-known vegetative currents and excitations in the body. He will, therefore, together with his 
fellow believers, create institutions which alleviate this state of somatic tension and at the same time disguise its 
real nature. Thus he builds a church organ the sound of which can produce such vegetative currents in the body. 
The mystical darkness of the churches enhances the seemingly supernatural sensitivity to vegetative sensations 
and the sounds of a sermon, a choral, etc., which are designed to arouse them. 

In real life, the religious individual has become altogether helpless, for the repression of his sexual energy has 
deprived him of the capacity for happiness and of the aggression necessary to master the difficulties of real life. 
The more helpless he is in reality, the more is he compelled to believe in supernatural forces which give him 
support and protection. We thus understand how he may, in certain situations, develop an unbelievable strength of 
conviction, even to the extent of sacrificing his life. He derives this strength from his love of his own religious 
conviction which, as we know, is based on highly pleasurable somatic excitations. He believes, it is true, that this 
strength comes from "God." His longing for God, then, is in reality the experiencing of his fore-pleasure 
excitations which call for release. The "delivery" can be but one thing: the delivery from intolerable somatic 
tensions which can be pleasurable only as long as they find a phantasy gratification in an imaginary union with 

God. A confirmation of this can be seen in the tendency of religious fanatics to masochistic, self-injurious acts. 
Sex-economic clinical observation has shown that the desire for self-castigation or the desire to be beaten stem 
from the desire to obtain gratification without guilt. If the individual is unable to bring about the relaxation 
himself, somatic tensions result inevitably in ideas of being beaten or tortured. [127] Here lies the root of the 
ideology of passive suffering which is part of all patriarchal religions. 

The inner situation of helplessness and of somatic suffering creates the need for consolation and support from 
without, particularly in the fight against the "evil instincts," the "evils of the flesh." Religious individuals, with 
the aid of their religious ideas, attain a state of vegetative excitation which resembles gratification but does not, in 
reality, bring about somatic relaxation. As is well known from therapeutic experiences with priests, involuntary 
ejaculation at the height of states of religious ecstasy is of frequent occurrence. Normal orgastic gratification is 
replaced by a generalized state of somatic excitation which excludes the genital and which may result in 
involuntary, as if accidental, partial discharges of sexual energy. 

Originally and by nature, sexual pleasure was that which was good, beautiful, happy, that which linked man with 
the whole of nature. With the splitting up of the sexual and the religious feelings, the sexual became inevitably 
that which is evil and infernal. 

I have tried elsewhere to show the origin and the effects of pleasure anxiety, i.e., the fear of sexual excitation. 
To summarize briefly: To people who are incapable of sexual relaxation, sexual excitation gradually and 
inevitably becomes something torturing and destructive. As a matter of fact, sexual excitation is torturing and 
destructive if the discharge of the sexual energy is not allowed to take place. Thus we see that the religious 
conception of sexuality as an evil and destructive force has its basis in actual somatic processes. Under these 
circumstances, the attitude toward sexuality must split up: the typically religious and moralistic evaluations, 
"good — bad," "heavenly — worldly," "divine — infernal" become symbols on the one hand of sexual gratification 
and on the other hand of the punishment for it. 

The deep longing for delivery, consciously from "sin," unconsciously from sexual tension, is repressed. States of 
religious ecstasy are nothing but states of vegetative sexual excitation without a normal outlet. Without this 
contradiction, religious [128] excitation can neither be understood nor mastered. It is not only antisexual, but at 
the same time highly sexual; not only moral, but also altogether unnatural and unhygienic from a sex-economic 
point of view. In no other social group do hysterias and perversions flourish as they do in ascetic religious circles. 
It would be erroneous to conclude, however, that such people should be treated as perverse criminals. In talking 
with religious individuals one finds that, together with their antisexual attitude, they also have a good 
understanding of their condition. Like everybody else, they are divided into an official and a private personality. 
Officially, they consider sex a sin; privately they know very well that without their substitute gratifications they 
could not exist. More than that, many of them understand the sex-economic solution of the contradiction between 
sexual excitation and moralism. If one establishes human contact with them, they understand very well that what 
they describe as their communication with God is nothing but actual communication with the whole process of 
nature, that they are a bit of nature, that, like all others, they feel themselves as a microcosmos within a 
macrocosmos. One has to grant them that their deep conviction has a true core, namely, the vegetative currents in 
their organism and the ecstasy which they may attain. Particularly among the poorer strata of the population, the 
religious feeling is absolutely genuine. It becomes false only by the denial of its origin and of the unconscious 
desire for gratification. In this way develops the false kindly attitude of clerics and religious people in general. 

As incomplete as this presentation is, the following conclusions stand out: 

1 . Religious excitation is vegetative, sexual excitation in a disguised form. 

2. The religious individual negates his sexuality by mystifying the excitation. 

3. Religious ecstasy is a substitute for orgastic vegetative excitation. 

4. Religious ecstasy does not result in true sexual relaxation but only — at best — in a muscular and mental 

[129] 5. Religious feeling is subjectively genuine and has a physiological basis. 

6. The negation of the sexual nature of these excitations results, characterologically, in insincerity. 

Infants do not believe in God. The belief in God never takes root in them until the time when they have to learn 
to suppress their sexual excitation which makes them want to masturbate. Thus they acquire a fear of sexual 
pleasure. Then they begin not only to believe in God and to fear him as a supernatural being which knows 
everything and sees everything; they also begin to invoke his protection against their own sexual excitation. All 
this serves the function of avoiding masturbation. 

This, then, is the way in which the anchoring of religious ideas takes place in childhood. But these religious 
ideas would not bind the child's sexual energy and transform it into the opposing forces of moralism and sex- 
negation if they were not attached to the actual figures of father and mother. When a child does not "honor his 
father," he "sins"; in other words, if he does not fear his father, and indulges in sexual pleasure, he gets punished. 
To the child's thinking, the strict, denying father is God's representative on earth, his executive organ. When the 
awe of the father gives way to a realistic insight into his human foibles and inadequacies, the awe-inspiring father 
nevertheless continues to exist in the form of an abstract mystical idea of God. Just as patriarchal society says 
"God" when it really means actual paternal authority, so does the child, in saying "God," really mean the actual 
father. In the child's structure, sexual excitation, the idea of father and the idea of God form a unit; a unit which, 
during therapy, becomes palpable in the form of a spastic condition of the genital musculature. Elimination of this 
genital spasm regularly brings with it the disappearance of the idea of God and of the fear of the father. The 
genital spasm thus not only represents the physiological, structural anchoring of the religious fear; at the same 
time it also creates the pleasure anxiety which is the core of every religious moralism. 

Detailed study of the highly complicated interrelations of the [130] different kinds of religious cults, socio- 
economic organization and human structure must be left to further investigation. Whatever these details may be, 
they are less important than the fact that the energy core of all sex-negating patriarchal religions is pleasure 


Antisexual religiosity is a product of patriarchal authoritarian society. The son-father relationship found in every 
patriarchal religion is no more than a socially determined content of the religious experience; the experience itself 
results from patriarchal sexual suppression. The function which religion gradually assumes, that of maintaining 
renunciation and submission to authority, is secondary. It can build on a solid basis: the structure of the 
patriarchal individual as it is molded by sexual suppression. The source of religiosity and the core of any 
religious dogma formation is the negation of sexual pleasure. This is particularly clearly expressed in Christianity 
and in Buddhism. 

a. Anchoring of mysticism in childhood. 

Lieber Gott, nun schlaf ich ein, 
Schicke mir ein Engelein. 
Vater, lass die Augen Dein 
liber meinem Bette sein. 
Hab' ich Unrecht heut getan, 
Sieh es, lieber Gott, nicht an. 
Vater, hab mit mir Geduld 
Und vergib mir meine Schuld. 
Alle Menschen, gross und klein 
Mogen Dir befohlen sein. 

[Dear God, I lay me down to sleep, 
Send an angel watch to keep. 
And, Father, let your loving eye 

Look down upon me from the sky. 
If wrong I've done within the day 


Overlook it, God, I pray 
Father, guide me patiently 
And may my faults forgiven be. 
And all persons great and small 
Feel your protection overall.] 

This is one of the many typical prayers which children must recite before going to sleep. One is prone not to pay 
any attention to the content of such a prayer. Yet, it contains in concentrated form all that is the essence of 
mystical content and feeling: In the first couplet the petition for protection; in the second, a repetition of this 
petition, made directly to the "father"; in the third, the petition for forgiveness for a committed wrong: God 
should not look at it. What does this guilt feeling refer to? What is God petitioned "not to look at"? If one knows 
the world of the average child, the answer is not difficult: In the center of the forbidden things is the wrongdoing 
of playing with the genitals. 

The prohibition of masturbation would remain ineffective were it not supported by the idea that God sees 
everything, that, consequently, one has to be "good" even when the parents are not around. If anyone should be 
inclined to brush this off as "phantasy," he may learn something from the following observation which clearly 
demonstrates the anchoring of the mystical idea of God by means of sexual anxiety. 

A girl of about seven, having been brought up without religion, suddenly developed the compulsion to pray. It 
was a compulsion because she herself found it to be at variance with her knowledge and tried to resist it. The 
praying compulsion developed as follows: The child was accustomed to masturbate every night before going to 
sleep. One day, she suddenly was afraid to do so and therefore abstained from it. Instead, she developed the 
impulse to kneel down before her bed and to say a prayer somewhat like the one cited above. "When I pray," she 
explained later, "I am not afraid." The fear had appeared when, for the first time, she denied herself the pleasure 
of masturbation. Whence this self-denial? She told her father, in whom she had full confidence, that [132] a few 
months earlier, during vacation, she had had an unpleasant experience. Like other children, she used to play with 
a little boy at having sexual intercourse ("playing house"); one day another boy came upon them and shouted 
Phew! at them. Although her parents had told her that there was nothing wrong in such playing, she became 
ashamed, gave it up and started, instead, to masturbate before going to sleep. One night, shortly before the onset 
of the praying compulsion, she had the following experience: On the way home from a group evening, she and a 
few other children were singing revolutionary songs. They met an old woman whose looks reminded her of the 
witch in "Hansel und Gretel" and who scolded them: "You Godless bunch, the Devil will get you yet!" When, 
later in the evening, she was about to masturbate again, she thought, for the first time, that maybe there was a God 
after all who would see and punish it. Unconsciously, she had associated the old woman's threat with the sexual 
experience with the little boy. Now she began to fight against masturbation, became anxious and, to ward off the 
anxiety, developed the praying compulsion. The praying, then, had taken the place of sexual gratification. 
Nevertheless, the anxiety did not disappear; the girl began to develop night terrors. Now she was afraid of a 
supernatural being which was going to punish her for her sexual sinning. She sought its protection in her fight 
against the temptation of masturbation. 

It should not be thought that this process is an individual occurrence; rather, it typifies the process of anchoring 
the idea of God in the overwhelming majority of children in religious cultural circles. The same function is served 
by fairy tales of the "Hansel und Gretel" variety in which children are threatened with punishment for 
masturbation in a disguised but, for the child's unconscious, unmistakable way. Every case treated by character- 
analysis shows that mystical feeling develops from a general guilt feeling which is centered in the guilt about 
masturbation. It is hard to see how psychoanalytic investigation could have hitherto overlooked this fact. That the 
idea of God represents the conscience, the internalized admonitions and threats from parents [133] and educators, 

is a well-known fact. What is less well known is the fact that, from an energy point of view, the belief in and the 
fear of God are sexual excitations which have changed their content and goal. The religious feeling, then, is the 
same as sexual feeling, except that it is attached to mystical, psychic contents. This explains the return of the 
sexual element in so many ascetic experiences, such as the nun's delusion that she is the bride of Christ. Such 
experiences rarely reach the stage of genital consciousness and thus are apt to take place in other sexual channels, 
such as masochistic martyrdom. 
To return to our girl. The praying compulsion disappeared when she understood the origin of her anxiety; 
instead, she resumed her masturbation without guilt feelings. As unimportant as this may seem it points to a 
possible prevention of the mystical infestation of our children. A few months after the disappearance of the 
praying compulsion, the girl wrote from summer camp to her father: 

Dear Charlie: There is a wheat field here and at the edge of it we have our hospital (of course it's only a game). There we play 
Doctor (we are five girls). If one of us has a pain at the pussy, she goes to that hospital. There we have cotton and salves and creams. 
All that we have swiped. 

That is, undoubtedly, sexual cultural revolution. And what, many will ask, happens to "culture"? The child was 
in a class with children one to two years her senior, and the teachers confirmed her great industry and talent. As 
far as general knowledge and a lively interest in reality was concerned, she was far ahead of the rest. Twelve 
years later, she was a sexually healthy, very intelligent and generally liked person. 

b. The anchoring of mysticism in adolescence. 

In the example of the little girl I tried to show the typical way in which religious fear becomes anchored in the 
young child. Sexual anxiety is the central factor in the anchoring of the authoritarian social order in the child's 
structure. Let us follow [134] this function of sexual anxiety into puberty and examine one of the typical 
antisexual pamphlets: 

There are two rocks in the life of every man which are his strength or on which he suffers shipwreck: God — and the other sex. 
Innumerable young men suffer shipwreck in life not because they have not learned enough, but because they do not come to terms 
with God and — because they do not know how to master that instinct which can bring untold happiness to man but also untold 
misery: the sexual instinct. 

So many never become full human beings because they are under the sway of their instincts. In itself, it is true, strong instincts are 
nothing regrettable. On the contrary, they make life rich and full, make possible strong love and great achievement. They can make a 
strong personality. But the instinct becomes wrong and a sin against the Creator when man no longer keeps it in check and becomes 
its slave. One or the other governs man: the spirit or the instinct, that is, the animal. They do not go together. Thus every man, at one 
time or another, is confronted with the terrific question: Are you going to recognize the real meaning of your life, that is, to be a 
light, or are you going to be consumed by the flame of your unbridled instincts? 

Are you going to spend your life as an animal or as a spiritual human being? 

The process of becoming a man is the problem of the fire in the hearth. If it is kept in check, it warms and lights the room. But woe 
if it leaps out of the hearth! Woe if the sexual instinct governs the whole man to such an extent that it becomes the master of all 
thought and action! 

Our times are sick. In earlier times, people were expected to keep their sexuality in check. Today they say that modern man no 
longer needs this check. What is overlooked is that the city man of today is much more nervous and much weaker of will and that, 
therefore, he needs even more self-control. 

Now, look around: It is not the spirit that rules in our fatherland but the unbridled instincts, particularly the unchecked sexual 
instinct, and indecency. In the factory, the office, on the stage, in public life, there rules the spirit of the demi-monde and often the 
dirty joke. How much youthful joy is ruined in the pestholes of the city, the nightclubs, gambling places and poor movies! The 
young man of today thinks of [135] himself as particularly clever when he advocates the theory of living out one's sexuality. In 
reality, Mephisto's saying in Goethe's Faust applies to him: 
Er nennt's Ver stand und braucht's allein 
Um tierischer als jedes Tier zu sein. 

Two things make the process of becoming a man difficult: the large city with its abnormal conditions, and the demon in us. The 

young man who comes to the city for the first time, perhaps from a family in which he was well protected, is exposed to a wealth of 
new impressions: Noise, exciting sights, erotic literature, alcohol, movies, theater, etc. And wherever he looks, there are dress 
fashions designed to excite him sexually. Who can withstand such a concentrated onslaught? And to a temptation from without the 
demon within says Yes only too willingly. For Nietzsche is right, "There is muck at the bottom of the soul"; it is true that in 
everyone "the wild dogs bark below," only waiting to be released. 

Many young men fall prey to indecent living because they were not warned in time about the dangers. They will be grateful for a 
frank word of warning and advice which will make it possible for them to escape or to turn back. 

To most, immorality comes first in the form of self-abuse. Scientific investigation shows that this is often taken up at a terrifyingly 
early age. True, the consequences of this bad habit have been somewhat exaggerated. Nevertheless, the opinion of outstanding 
physicians gives one food for thought. Professor Dr. Hartung, for many years chief of Dermatology at the Allerheiligen-Hospital in 
Breslau, makes the following statement: "There can be no doubt that indulgence to any considerable extent in the vice of self-abuse 
damages the body most severely and leads, later on, to general nervousness, incapacity for intellectual work, and physical 

Furthermore, he emphasizes the fact that a person who indulges in self-abuse loses his self-respect and can no longer look people 
straight in the eye. The constant consciousness of having to keep his disgusting activity concealed from others degrades him morally 
in his own eyes. Professor Hartung says further that the young people who indulge in this vice become soft and flabby, that they lose 
their incentive to work, and that all kinds of nervous conditions weaken their memory and their capacity for work. Other eminent 
physicians agree with these statements. 

[136] But self-abuse not only makes the blood unhealthy; it also eliminates spiritual forces and inhibitions which are indispensable 
in the process of becoming a man; if it becomes a chronic habit, it works like a malignant cancer in the organism. 

But much worse than all this are the consequences of immorality with the other sex. It is not by accident that the most terrible 
plague of humanity — the venereal diseases — is a result of this transgression. Dr. Paul Lazarus, Professor at the University of Berlin, 
draws a terrifying picture of the psychic and physical devastations wrought in our population by the venereal diseases. 

Syphilis is one of the worst grave-diggers of folk strength. But gonorrhea — which unfortunately so many young men fail to take 
seriously — is also a most serious and dangerous disease. The fact alone that medical science cannot cure it with certainty should 
warn everybody against not taking it seriously. 

Professor Dr. Binswanger says with regard to the venereal diseases: "It is noteworthy that seemingly very light infections lead to 
such serious consequences; that often many years elapse between the original infection and the onset of serious nervous disease; that 
over sixty per cent of that disease which the layman calls 'softening of the brain' is attributable to an earlier venereal infection." 

Is it not a soul-shaking thought that, as a result of such a youthful sin, those who are most dear to us, wife and children, should be 
exposed to devastating disease? 

But I must mention another aberration, one which is much more frequent today than many think: homosexuality. Be it said at the 
outset: we have the greatest sympathy for all those who fight a battle for their purity against this thing. We have respect for those 
who come out victorious because they fight with God on their side. But just as Jesus loved the individual sinner and helped every 
one who wanted to be helped while he fought against sin itself with deadly seriousness, so must we fight the manifestations of 
homosexuality which ruin our youth and our folk. There was another time in history when the world was about to be engulfed in the 
floods of perversion. Only the gospel could overcome a culture which was rotting away from these perverse sins and could bring 
about something new. About the victims of these sins, Paul wrote to the Romans: "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use 
of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in them- 
[137]selves that recompense of their error which was meet." (Romans 1, 27). Homosexuality is the mark of a thoroughly rotten, 
Godless and soulless culture. It is a result of the prevailing Weltanschauung that enjoyment is the highest goal. Quite rightly, 
Professor Foerster, in his SEXUALETHIK, says: "Where spiritual heroism is ridiculed and natural living-out is glorified, everything 
which is perverse, diabolical and base comes to the surface; more than that, it calls health disease and makes itself the yardstick of 

Today things come to the surface which even the most depraved do not want to admit in themselves. Worse things yet will come to 
the surface, and then it will become clear that only a great spiritual power, the gospel of Jesus Christ, can bring help. 

Many people will raise objections to what has been said here. You may say, for example, "Are we not dealing with a natural 
instinct which must be satisfied?" No, if the passions are released, we are not dealing with anything natural, but with something 
entirely unnatural. Almost in every case, we find that the evil lust has been in some way aroused and nurtured. Look at an alcoholic 
or a drug addict. Is their constant craving for alcohol or morphine natural? No, it has been nurtured artificially by an ever repeated 
indulgence. The instinct which God gave us for procreation in marriage is in itself good and not too difficult to check. Thousands of 
men keep it successfully in check. 

"But," you may ask, "is it not harmful for a mature man if he abstains from sexual gratification?" This is what Professor Hartung 
says in answer: "Unequivocally, I say that is not so. If any man has told you that sexual abstinence can be harmful he has led you 

dangerously astray; if he has thought through what he told you, he was either an ignorant or an evil man. " 

You are seriously warned against the use of contraceptives. The only real protection is abstinence until marriage. 

I have tried to show you, openly and truly, the consequences that result from immorality. You have seen what this sin does to the 
body and the mind. But there is, in addition, the harm which this vice does to the soul. I tell you in deadly seriousness: Unchastity is 
a crime against God. It makes it impossible for anybody to have real peace and joy. It is written, "For he that soweth to his flesh 
shall of the flesh reap corruption." (Gal. 6, 8). 

The spirit of the demi-monde inevitably moves in where the connection with God's world was lost. 

[138] For all those, however, who do not want to be victims of unchastity I shall add a few words of advice and encouragement. It 
is necessary to make an absolute and clean break with unchastity, in thought, word and deed. This is the first thing to do in order not 
to become its slave. Of course, you must stop going to places of temptation and sin; everything which may lead to temptation must 
be avoided. For example, the company of unchaste companions, the reading of salacious books, the looking at provocative pictures 
or dubious shows. Instead, you must seek good company which elevates you. Do everything which steels the body and helps in the 
fight against unchastity: athletics, gymnastics, swimming, hikes, getting up immediately on waking up. Be moderate in eating and 
especially in drinking. Alcohol must be strictly avoided. But even all that does not suffice. Many have again and again the painful 
experience that even if they follow all this advice the instinct is too strong. 

Where do we find the power to resist, where the strength for victory? Confronted with temptation, with the glowing lust of the 
flesh, we find that advice and enlightenment alone does not help. We need an alive power to master our instincts and to overcome 
the unchaste forces within and without ourselves. There is only One who can give us this power: Jesus. He who wants to achieve real 
freedom must come to Jesus Christ who has taken power away from sin and who has strength and help for everyone. This is not a 
Christian theory but a fact which many young men in temptation have tested and experience everyday. If possible, get into the 
confidence of a serious Christian friend who can give you advice and fight with you. A fight there will be, but a fight with victory in 

In conclusion, let me ask you this personal question: What about you, my friend, what are you going to do with this warning? 

Are you going to let yourself be ruined in order to please frivolous and unscrupulous people, or are you going to associate with 
pure, noble men whose company will elevate you and steel your will in the fight against everything unchaste? Are you going to be a 
man who, through his words, his example and his behavior is a curse to himself and others, or are you going to be a man who is 
going to be a blessing for his fellows? 

Are you going to let yourself be ruined in body, character and soul, for now and forever, for the sake of a few moments of fleeting 
pleasure — or will you let yourself be saved as long as there is still time? 

[139] Please, answer these questions sincerely and have the courage to do what God, in your conscience, tells you to do! 

Make an honest choice! Demi-monde or super-world? Animal or spiritual human being? 

In this pamphlet, the adolescent is confronted with the alternatives: God or sexuality. True, to be a "Vollmensch" 
or "Ubermensch" means more than being asexual; but asexuality is the first prerequisite. The antithesis of 
"animal" and "spiritual human being" is the antithesis of "sexual" and "spiritual." It is the antithesis which has 
always been the basis of any theological moral philosophy. To date, this moral philosophy has remained inviolate, 
because its basis, sex-negation, has never been touched. 

The average adolescent, having been brought up in an authoritarian family, suffers from an acute conflict 
between sexuality and anxiety. A pamphlet such as the one above forces him in the direction of mysticism, 
without, however, eliminating the difficulties. The Catholic church uses the expedient of giving the adolescent 
periodic absolution for his masturbation in the confessional. But in doing so, it gets into another difficulty. The 
church attains its mass basis by two measures: it binds the masses to itself by sexual anxiety, and it stresses its 
anti-capitalistic attitude. It condemns city life with its many temptations for adolescents for it must fight against 
the revolutionary sexual forces which are aroused in youth by city life. On the other hand, the sexual life of the 
masses in cities is characterized by an acute conflict between high sexual demands and minimum opportunities, 
material and structural, for gratification. This contradiction is of the same kind as another basic contradiction, 
namely, defense tooth and nail of the very family authority which is destroyed by economic crises and sexual 
disturbances. Knowledge of such contradictions is of great significance for it opens up vast possibilities for 
striking the ideological apparatus of political reaction at its softest spot. 

Where is the adolescent to seek the strength for fighting down his genital impulses? In the belief in Jesus! As a 
matter of fact, [140] the adolescent does find, in this belief, a powerful force against his sexuality. On the basis of 

what mechanisms? His mystical experience creates a state of vegetative excitation which never ends in natural 
orgastic gratification. The adolescent develops a passive homosexual attitude. From the point of view of the 
dynamics of instinct, passive homosexuality is the most effective force against natural masculine sexuality, for it 
replaces activity and aggression by passivity and masochistic attitudes, by those attitudes, in other words, which 
determine the structural mass basis of patriarchal authoritarian mysticism. The adoption of such attitudes, 
however, means at the same time uncritical following, submission to authority and adaptation to the institution of 
patriarchal compulsive marriage. Religious mysticism, then, plays one sexual force against another. It utilizes 
itself sexual mechanisms for the attainment of its goals. These non-genital sexual impulses which it partly 
created, partly brought to flowering, determine the mass psychology of the followers: moral — and often definitely 
physical — masochism and passive submission. Religion derives its power from the suppression of genital 
sexuality which, secondarily, produces passive and masochistic homosexuality. It is based on genital anxiety and 
the replacement of genitality by secondary impulses which are no longer natural to the adolescent. In sex- 
economic work with religiously mystical adolescents, the natural genital demand has to be played against the 
secondary (homosexual) and mystical impulses. This mass-psychological task is completely identical with the 
objective lines of social progress in the sex-economic field: Elimination of genital suppression, and affirmation of 
a genital sex life for youth. There is, however, more to the problem than the discovery of these mechanisms of 
the infestation of the masses. A particularly important aspect is the cult of the Virgin Mary. To quote another 
typical pamphlet: 

Marienverehrung und der Jungmann 
von Dr. theol. Gerhard Kremer 

Genuine Catholic piety among youth will always think much of the [141] ideal of the Virgin Mary . . . Youth is a time of struggle, 
a time when the passions awake, a time of stormy growth and struggle. In this struggle youth must have an ideal before itself which 
is far above all that is base and ignoble and which pulls the vacillating mind upward. This ideal, for the young man, should be the 
ideal of the Virgin Mary who embodies an all-radiating purity and beauty. "It is said that there are women whose very presence 
educates one, since their behavior alone chases away base thoughts. Such a noble woman is Mary" (P. Schilgen S. J.). The Virgin 
Mary stands before the young man with such loveliness and dignity as cannot be found in nature, in art or in the human world. Why 
have artists again and again consecrated their skill to the Madonna? Because she has a dignity and beauty which will never 
disappoint. There the young man has standing before him a queen "whom to serve, of whom to prove worthy, is the highest honor. 
There is the exalted woman and soul bride to whom you can give yourself with the whole surging love of your youthful heart, 
without having to fear degradation and desecration." . . . The ideal of the Virgin Mary will show the young man that there is 
something great and exalted in psychic beauty and chastity . . . You young men who have an ideal mind and fight a battle for sacred 
virtue, look up to your queen. How can a young man look up to her, how can he greet her in the Ave Maria, without feeling a strong 
longing for chastity? How could a young man who has the ideal of the Virgin Mary go and rob a woman of her chastity? Yes, the 
ideal of the Virgin Mary, if taken seriously, is a powerful incentive for the young man to chastity and masculinity. 

The moral attitude of the young man is determined by his attitude toward the girl, the woman. 

. . . The symbols of the Knights are no more. But what is worse is that among the male youth of today the shy veneration of the 
woman disappears more and more, giving place to a frivolous, base piracy. Just as the Knights, in their armor, used to protect female 
weakness and innocence, so has the modern man a duty toward female chastity and innocence. Solid masculinity and true nobility of 
heart will be revealed most readily toward the female sex. Blessed the young man who has surrounded his passion with such an 
armor! Blessed the girl who has found the love of such a man! "Do no harm to a girl and remember that your mother, too, once was 
a girl. " 

The adolescent of today is the man and husband of tomorrow. How [142] should he be able, as man and husband, to protect 
womanhood and woman's honor if as a young man and fiance he has desecrated love and the time of engagement? The engagement 
should be a time of sacred undesecrated love. How many lives would be happier if the ideal of the Virgin Mary were alive among 
our young men. How much suffering would be avoided if young men did not play a wicked game with the love of a girl's soul. Oh, 
you young men, let the light of the ideal of the Virgin Mary shine into your love, so that you will not stumble and fall. 

The ideal of the Virgin Mary can mean very much to our male youth. For this reason, we have, in our youth organizations and in 
our congregations, unfurled the banner of the Virgin Mary. 

Katholisches Kirchenblatt, May 3, 1931. 

The Virgin Mary cult is used with great success for the enforcement of sexual abstinence. Again we must ask, 
what is the mechanism which makes this success possible? It is made possible by the suppression of the genital 
impulses. While the Jesus cult mobilizes the passive homosexual forces against genitality, the Virgin Mary cult 
utilizes forces from the heterosexual sphere itself. "Do no harm to a girl and remember that your mother, too, 
once was a girl." The mother of God, then, in the emotional life of the religious youth, takes over the role of his 
own mother and he gives her the whole love which as a child he had for his own mother, that is, all the strong 
love of his first genital impulses. In the meantime, however, the incest taboo has split his genitality into orgastic 
longing on the one hand and asexual tenderness on the other. The orgastic longing must be repressed. Its energy 
reinforces the asexual tender impulses and makes them into a strong fixation on the mystical experience. It goes 
with a violent defense not only against the incestuous desire but against any natural genital relationship with a 
woman. All the living strength and love which the healthy young man experiences in the orgasm with the woman 
he loves, goes, in the mystical man, who has repressed his genital sensuality, to support the mystical Virgin Mary 
cult. These are the sources from which mysticism musters its forces; forces which should not be underestimated 
[143] because they are unsatisfied. They explain the power over people which mysticism has had for thousands of 
years and the inhibition of responsibility on the part of the masses. 

It is not a matter here of the veneration of the Virgin Mary or of any other idol. It is a matter of the reproduction 
of the mystical human structure in every new generation. Mysticism is nothing but unconscious orgastic longing. 
The orgastically potent, healthy individual is capable of great veneration of historical persons. He experiences the 
primitive history of man besides his sexual happiness; he does so without becoming mystical, reactionary or 
metaphysical. A healthy sex life of youth would not of necessity do away with their veneration for the legend of 
Jesus. One may have the greatest admiration for the Old and the New Testament as gigantic achievements of the 
human mind; but one need not utilize this admiration for the purpose of repressing one's sexuality. Character- 
analytic experience shows that the sexually unhealthy youth experiences the legend of Jesus in an unhealthy and 
distorted manner. 


To the sexually healthy young man with a sex-economic structure, the orgastic experience with a woman means 
fulfillment and higher estimation of the partner; any tendency to look down upon the woman who gives herself is 
absent. In the case of orgastic impotence, on the other hand, the psychic defense forces predominate: there is 
disgust and horror of genital sensuality. These defensive forces derive their energy from several sources. To begin 
with, the defensive forces are just as strong as the warded-off genital desire; the desire is increased by the lack of 
gratification and is not made any less urgent by its being repressed and made unconscious. Second, the disgust 
with sexual intercourse is justified by the actual brutalization of sexual life in modern man. This brutalized love 
life comes to be considered the prototype of love life in general. A third source of the antisexual defense forces is 
the sadistic concept of sexual life which all children acquire at an early age in all patriarchal societies. Since [144] 
any inhibition of natural genital gratification increases the sadistic impulses, the whole sexual structure becomes 
sadistic. Since, further, genital impulses become, to a large extent, replaced by anal ones, the sex-reactionary 
concept of the debasement of woman by sexual intercourse gains further support. The adolescent has formed the 
sadistic concept of sexuality on the basis of his own personal experience. Here, too, we find that compulsive 
moral defenses form the basis of the power of political reaction. The connection between mystical feelings and 
sexual "morality" becomes understandable. No matter what the content of mystical feelings may be, it is 
essentially the negation of genital striving, it is sexual defense by way of non-genital sexual excitations. The 
difference between sexual feeling and mystical feeling is that the latter does not permit the perception of sexual 
excitation; consequently, there is no orgastic discharge, not even in the case of so-called religious ecstasies. 

In the absence of perception of sexual pleasure and of orgasm, mystical excitation must lead to a lasting 
alteration of the biopsychic structure. Sexual experience is felt as something debasing. A full natural experience 

never occurs. The defense against the orgastic desire takes the form of obsessive concepts of "purity" and 
"perfection." Healthy sensuality and capacity for gratification convey a natural self-confidence. The mystical 
individual develops an artificial self-confidence. As in nationalistic feeling, the self-confidence is based on the 
defense functions. Even superficially, this self-confidence is quite different from that based on a healthy 
genitality: it is overemphasized, there is a lack of naturalness in behavior, there are sexual inferiority feelings. 
This is why the individual brought up in nationalistic or mystical "morality" is so easily accessible to such phrases 
of political reaction as "honor," "purity," etc. He is forced to admonish himself constantly to be honest and pure. 
The genital character, on the other hand, is spontaneously honest and pure; he does not need constant admonition 
to be so. 





Reactionary academic science postulates a separation of that which "is" from that which "should be," of 
"recognizing" from "acting." Therefore, it feels itself "unpolitical," unpragmatic. Absolute logic even contends 
that from what "is" it never follows what "should be." The function of this restriction is that of enabling one to 
indulge serenely in academic research without having to draw the consequences which are inherent in any serious 
scientific insight. Consequences of scientific insights are always progressive and often revolutionary. To us, the 
formation of theoretical concepts is dictated by the necessities of actual life, by the necessity of solving practical 
problems. Such theoretical concepts lead to a better mastery of the practical tasks; more than that, to us a theory is 
of value only if it is confirmed in practice. The rest we leave to the intellectual gymnasts, to the guardians of the 
"higher values." First of all, we have to overcome the basic failing of research in religion, that of getting bogged 
down in academic presentations which do not point any rational way. We agree with the many scientists who 
state that religious mysticism in all its forms means intellectual narrow-mindedness. We also agree with the many 
academic scientists who state that, in the course of centuries, the religiosity of people has come to be an 
instrument of power. We differ from them, however, in that we are determined to carry on a successful fight 
against mysticism and superstition, and to turn our knowledge into practice. Has natural science, we must ask, 
exhausted its possibilities in the fight against mysticism? Without any doubt, [146] it has not. Mysticism 
continues to keep the masses of people blind and dumb. 


In the development of mysticism and the fight against it, one can roughly distinguish four phases. The first 
phase is characterized by the complete lack of any scientific concepts; in their place, there are animistic concepts. 
The primitive tries to explain natural phenomena in an attempt to overcome his fear of the unknown. He seeks to 
protect himself against the overpowering forces of nature. This he achieves — subjectively though not 
objectively — by mysticism, superstition and animistic concepts of natural processes, including his inner, psychic 
processes. Thus he believes himself able to increase soil fertility by erecting phallic sculptures or to banish 
draught by urinating. 

This situation remained basically unaltered in all peoples of the earth until, at the close of the Middle Ages, the 
ancient beginnings of a scientific comprehension of nature took on a serious character and began to threaten 
mysticism. In the course of the great bourgeois revolution a violent battle broke out against religion and for 
rationalism: The time approached when science would be able to replace mysticism in explaining nature, and 

when technics would be able to replace it in satisfying the human need for protection (second phase). 

But after that, the former revolutionaries, once they had come to power, turned around and created a 
contradiction in the cultural process: On the one hand, they furthered scientific research with all possible means, 
because it advanced economic development; on the other hand, they turned mysticism into the most powerful tool 
for the suppression of millions of wage earners (third phase). This contradiction finds its tragicomic expression in 
such things as scientific films on "Nature and Love" in which each section has two series of titles, such as: "The 
earth developed over millions of years due to mechanical and chemical cosmic processes," and below that, "In the 
beginning God created the heaven and the earth." And there sit the learned [147] academicians, astronomers and 
chemists, placidly watching this idyllic harmony, convinced that "religion also has its good sides." They are 
living examples of the separation of theory and practice. The consistent keeping away of scientific findings from 
the masses of people, and "monkey trials" as they occurred in the USA, create and maintain humility, lack of 
criticism, renunciation and hope for happiness in a hereafter, belief in authority, recognition of the holiness of 
asceticism and the inviolability of the authoritarian family. The freethinkers' movement cannot make itself felt as 
a counterforce because it uses inadequate means; that is, only intellectual arguments. The church, on the other 
hand, enjoys the support of the state power and bases its mass-psychological influence on the most powerful 
emotion, sexual anxiety and sexual repression. This powerful emotional influence has no counterweight of even 
an approximately equal strength. To the extent to which the freethinkers engage in sexual policy, they do it again 
intellectually and usually within the narrow limits of population politics. At best, they include the advocation of 
economic equality of woman. But this has no effect against the powers of mysticism on a mass basis for in the 
majority of women the will to economic independence is unconsciously inhibited by the fear of the responsibility 
for sexual freedom which inevitably goes hand in hand with economic independence. 

The difficulties of handling these emotional situations force the revolutionary freethinkers to push into the 
background the questions of "Weltanschauung." They feel that treating these questions often results in the exact 
opposite of what was intended. This standpoint is justified in that there is no emotional force of corresponding 
power with which to oppose mysticism. 

The Russian revolution brings the fight against religion to a much higher level. 1 The power is no longer in the 
hands of 

1 Cf., e.g., Schule und Kirche in Sowjetrussland, Siiddeutsche Arbeiterzeitung, 9-26-1927; Stepanow, Kirche und Staat in der Sowjetrepublik, Jahrb.f.P.u.W., 
1923-24; Taroslawski, Kirche und Staat, ibid., 1925-26; v. Muzak, Die Freidenkerbewegung in Russland, Der Freidenker, Nr. 6; v. Jakoby, Das Verhaltnis von 
Kirche und Staat im neuen Russland, Neue Bahnen, 1928; Lenin, W. L, Ueber die Religion; Elgers, A., Die Kulturrevolution in der Sowjetunion, 1931; 
Kurella, A., Die sozialistische Kulturrevolution im 5-Jahresplan; Feodorow, Antireligiose Propaganda im Dorf; Wogan, Sozialistischer Aufbau des Dorfes und 

die Religion. 

[148] finance and the church, but of the Executive Committees of the Soviets. The anti-religious movement is put 
on a solid foundation, that of a collective economic reorganization. Now, for the first time it becomes possible on 
a mass scale to replace religion by natural science, to replace the illusory protection of superstition by technical 
achievement, to destroy mysticism by sociological elucidation of the function of mysticism. The fight against 
religion takes place in three ways: by the withdrawal of the economic basis, that is, by direct economic means; by 
anti-religious propaganda, that is, by direct ideological means; and by raising the cultural level of the masses, that 
is, by indirect ideological means. 

The enormous significance of the power apparatus of the church is evidenced by a few figures from Tsarist 
Russia. In 1905 the church possessed over four million acres of land. In 1903 the churches in Moscow owned 908 
houses, the monasteries 146. The yearly income of the metropolitans in Kiev amounted to 84,000 rubles, in 
Petersburg to 259,000 rubles, in Moscow to 81,000 rubles, and in Nizhni-Novgorod to 307,000 rubles. The 
payments in kind and fees for individual religious performances cannot even be estimated. The taxpayers 
supported 200,000 people who were in the service of the church. The Troitskaya Lavra monastery, with an annual 
average of 100,000 pilgrims, possessed sacred vessels and garments to the value of 650 million rubles. 

Based on this economic power, the church exerted its ideological power. It goes without saying that all schools 
were under the immediate control of the church. Article I of the Constitution stated, "The Tsar of all the Russians 
is the autonomous and absolute monarch, and God himself orders voluntary submission to his reign." We know 
what is represented by "God," on what infantile emotions such presumptions of power are based. In Germany, 
Hitler reorganized the church in the same manner: he extended its power and invested it with the evil right of 
preparing the children's minds for the reception of reactionary ideologies. "Moral betterment" is a frontline 
position of the "God-[149]sent" Hitler. But to return to Tsarist Russia. In the religious seminaries and academies, 
there were special professorial chairs for the fight against the revolutionary movement. On January 9, 1905, the 
priests published a proclamation in which they accused the revolting workers of being bribed by the Japanese. 
The February revolution of 1917 brought only minor changes. All churches were put on an equal basis. But the 
long-expected separation of church and state failed to materialize. In a church council of October 1917 the 
Bolshevists were excommunicated, and the patriarch Tikhon declared war on them. 

On January 21, 1918, the Soviet Government issued a decree as follows: 

With regard to religion, the Russian Communist Party is not content with the separation of the church from state and schools. This 
is a measure which is contained also in the programs of bourgeois democracies, although it has never been consistently put into 
practice, due to the numerous connections between capital and religious propaganda. 

The Russian Communist Party is convinced that only the full development of social and economic consciousness in the masses will 
result in a decline of religious prejudices. The Party intends to eliminate all the connections between the exploiting classes and the 
organization of religious propaganda: it organizes a comprehensive scientific anti-religious propaganda and thus contributes in a 
factual manner to the liberation of the working masses from religious prejudices. In so doing, one must carefully avoid offending the 
sensibilities of religious people because this would only lead to an intensification of religious fanaticism. 

In accordance with this, local ordinances which would restrict the freedom of religion or would create privileges for the members 
of a certain creed, are prohibited (Paragraph 2). 

Every citizen may adopt any religion or none at all. All previous legal restrictions of this freedom are annulled. 

Any indication as to religious denomination, to church membership or non-membership is to be eliminated from all official 

The activities of all public and social institutions will take place without any religious ceremonies (Par. 4). 

[150] The free exercise of religious customs is guaranteed, provided it does not interfere with the public order and with the rights 
of citizens (Par. 5). 

Nobody can claim exemption from his duties as a citizen on the basis of his religious beliefs. Exceptions can be granted only by the 
people's court and on the condition that one duty is replaced by another (Par. 6). 
The religious oath is abolished (Par. 7). 

The registers of birth, marriage and death are kept exclusively by the civil authorities (Par. 8). 
The school is separated from the church. 

The propagation of religious beliefs is prohibited in all public and private educational institutions with a curriculum of general 
education (Par. 9). 

All religious and church societies are subject to the general laws pertaining to private societies and associations. They do not enjoy 
any special privileges or subsidies either from the state or from local authorities (Par. 10). 

Compulsory taxation of its members by religious and church societies is inadmissible (Par. 11). 

Religious and church societies enjoy no rights of private property, nor the status of legal personality (Par. 12). 

Buildings and objects used for divine services are put at the disposal of religious societies free of charge, by special acts of the local 
or central authorities (Par. 13). 

Priests, monks and nuns enjoy neither active nor passive voting rights because they do no productive work. 

As early as December 18, 1917, the keeping of the civil registers was transferred to the Soviet authorities. The 
Commissariat for Justice established a division for the liquidation of church property. In the Troitskaya Lavra 
monastery, for example, an academy for the electrotechnical division of the Red Army and a teacher's training 
school were established. The lands of the monasteries were used for the establishment of workers' communes and 
the churches converted into workers' clubs and reading rooms. Anti-religious propaganda began with the 
unmasking of the fraudulent practices of the church hierarchy. The holy fountain in the Ser-[151]gius church was 

shown to be a simple pump, the forehead of many a saint, which the people were allowed to kiss for so and so 
much money was shown to be a cleverly arranged piece of leather. The effect of this unmasking, in the presence 
of large audiences, was prompt and radical. This propaganda was, of course, carried on with millions of 
pamphlets and newspapers. The establishment of anti-religious scientific museums made possible the comparison 
of the scientific and the superstitious concepts of life. 

In spite of all this I heard in 1929 in Moscow that the only organized counter-revolutionary groups were the 
religious sects. The connection between religious sects and the sexual life of the sect members as well as the 
sexual structure of society in general, was almost completely neglected, both theoretically and practically, a fact 
which had serious consequences. 

The contention, then, that the church in Soviet Russia was "destroyed" has no basis in fact. The exercise of 
religious beliefs was free. All that happened was that the church lost its social and economic hegemony. It could 
no longer, beyond the circle of its believers, force people to believe in a God. Science and the unbelief in God had 
finally acquired the same social rights as mysticism. No longer could a church hierarchy decide that a scientist 
should be exiled. That was all. But the church did not let it rest there. Later, when the sexual revolution collapsed, 
that is, from about 1934 on, it regained large masses of people. 2 


Destroying the power of the church exercised beyond its own domain can eliminate only the worst of its 
encroachments. Such a measure does not even touch its ideological power which is based on the receptivity of the 
average superstitious human structure. For this reason, the Soviets used the influence of science. It 

2 [1945]: In 1944, the church was reinstated in its old Tsarist rights. Immediately, there were a number of reactionary marriage laws, non-recognition of 
common-law marriage, difficulties in obtaining a divorce, etc. This is a development leading far behind that of say, American society. It is to be feared that 
American reactionaries will be quick to make capital of this. 

[152] should be remembered, however, that scientific information and unmasking of religion does no more than 
set an intellectual — though strong — force over against the mystical feelings; the rest is left to the fight between 
intellect and mystical feeling in the individual. This fight succeeds only in relatively rare individuals who already 
have matured on a different basis. That it fails not infrequently even in them is shown in that even clear-cut 
materialists give in to their religious feelings in one way or another, such as compulsive praying. The clever 
advocate of religion will argue from this that it proves the eternal and ineradicable character of religious feeling. 
The argument is faulty. Such phenomena show only that, while the religious feeling is opposed by the power of 
the intellect, its sources have not been touched. The mystical feeling could be eradicated if not only the social 
hegemony of the church were eliminated and the mystical feeling were countered by an intellectual force; if, in 
addition, the emotions which feed the mystical feeling were themselves made conscious and capable of being 
expressed. Clinical experience shows beyond any doubt that religious feeling stems from inhibited sexuality, that 
mystical excitation is the result of inhibited sexual excitation. From this follows the incontrovertible conclusion 
that full sexual consciousness and a natural regulation of sexual life mean the end of mystical feelings of any 
kind, that, in other words, natural sexuality is the deadly enemy of mystical religion. The church, by making the 
fight against sexuality the center of its dogmas and of its influence over the masses, confirms this concept. 

Saying that sexual consciousness is the end of mysticism means reducing extremely complex facts to the 
simplest formula. We shall soon see that, as simple as this formula is, its basis and the conditions for its practical 
realization are extremely complex; that it takes all the scientific data at our disposal, and the deepest conviction of 
the necessity of the most relentless fight against mysticism, if one is to meet the artful apparatus of mysticism 
with adequate countermeasures. But the final result will one day repay the effort. 

[153] In order to evaluate properly the difficulties which stand in the way of the practical realization of this 
simple formula, one has to understand some fundamental facts in the psychic organization of the average 

individual who has gone through a sex-suppressing upbringing. When some cultural organizations in the Catholic 
West of Germany refused to take part in the sex-economic fight against mysticism because, as they said, they had 
met with no success, this does not disprove my concept; it only shows the apprehensiveness, the fear of sexuality 
and the sex-economic inexperience of those who tried the undertaking, and the lack of patience and thoroughness 
in understanding and mastering a very complicated situation. If I were to tell a Christian woman who is in sexual 
difficulties that she was sexually ill and that only sexual happiness would relieve her psychic suffering, she 
would, rightly, show me the door. Not only does every individual have contradictions in himself which one must 
understand; the problem is different in different countries and different districts, and therefore requires different 
solutions. Undoubtedly, these difficulties will diminish with increasing sex-economic experience, but only 
practical endeavor can eliminate them. The most important thing is to realize the correctness of our basic formula 
and to comprehend the true nature of the difficulties. Mysticism having dominated humanity for thousands of 
years, it can expect of us beginners that we do not underestimate it, that we comprehend it correctly and show 
ourselves better informed and cleverer than its representatives. 


A comprehension of the biopsychic anchoring of mysticism can provide guiding principles for a mass mental 
hygiene. The changes shown by a mystical individual in the course of character- analytic treatment are of decisive 
importance. Clearly, they cannot be simply and directly applied to the masses; but they do disclose the conflicts, 
the forces and counterforces, in the average individual. 

I have shown in what way the mystical feelings and concepts [154] become anchored. We shall now try to 
follow the opposite process, the eradication of mysticism. 

In a typical manner, the mystical attitude appears, to begin with, as a powerful resistance against the uncovering 
of unconscious psychic life, in particular, of repressed genitality. Characteristically enough, the mystical defense 
is directed much less against pregenital impulses than against the natural genital impulses, especially against 
infantile masturbation. The patient clings desperately to his ascetic, moralistic and mystical attitudes and 
concepts; he intensifies the anthesis between that which is "moral" and that which is "animal," that is, naturally 
genital; he fights against his own genital sexuality by depreciating it moralistically. He accuses the therapist of 
"gross, base materialism" and of a lack of appreciation for "higher values." In brief, to him who knows the 
political argumentation of the mystics and fascists and the "scientific" argumentation of the characterologists, all 
this sounds like an old story; in fact, it is all one and the same thing. Typically, the fear of God and the moralistic 
defense become intensified as soon as one succeeds in loosening a bit of sexual repression. If one succeeds in 
overcoming the infantile fear of masturbation, if, as a result, the desire for genital gratification makes itself 
strongly felt, intellectual insight and the affirmation of sexuality begin to gain the upperhand. To the extent to 
which the fear of sexuality and the old parental sexual prohibitions disappears, to the same extent does the 
mystical credulity disappear. What has happened in such a case? Previously the patient had utilized mysticism for 
keeping the sexual desires in repression. His personality was too apprehensive, too much alienated from its own 
sexuality, to be able to control and regulate the powerful natural forces. On the contrary, the more he fought off 
his sexuality, the stronger became its demands and the more intensely he had to put to use his moralistic and 
mystical inhibitions. In the course of the treatment the infantile dependence on parents and educators was more 
and more eliminated; the patient recognized the naturalness of genitality; he learned [155] to distinguish what 
parts of his impulses were infantile and anachronistic, and what parts were in keeping with real life. The religious 
youth, e.g., will soon recognize the fact that his exhibitionistic or other perverse tendencies reflect partly a 
regression to infantile forms of sexuality, partly the inhibition of his natural genitality. He will also realize that his 
desire for sexual intercourse is not only in keeping with his age and natural organization, but that its gratification 
is necessary. He no longer needs the crutch of a belief in an Almighty God and of a moralistic inhibition. He 
becomes master in his own house and learns to regulate his sexual energies himself. Character-analysis liberates 

him from the infantile submission to the authority of the father and those who take his place. The strengthening of 
the personality dissolves the God-fixation which is a continuation of the father-fixation. When, finally, character- 
analytic vegetotherapy enables the patient to establish a satisfactory love life, mysticism loses its last foothold. In 
this case, clerics get into great difficulties, because they can no longer, with conviction, continue in a profession 
which has affected their health in ways they know from experience. They have no other choice than to change 
their profession and to become teachers or social workers. 

These changes in the mystical individual will remain hidden only to those analysts who either do not understand 
their patients' genital disturbance or who agree with a well-known psychoanalyst and minister who stated that 
"the probe of psychoanalysis should not be allowed to go into the unconscious any more deeply than is permitted 
by ethics." With this kind of "unpolitical," "objective" science we do not want anything to do, any more than with 
that kind of science which, assiduously fighting the revolutionary consequences of sex-economy as "politics," at 
the same time advises mothers to fight the erections of their little boys with exercises in holding their breath. The 
problem in such cases is what goes on in the physician who can reconcile such measures with his conscience, who 
becomes a cleric in a vain attempt to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the reaction. 

[156] We do not discuss the existence or non-existence of God; all we do is to eliminate the sexual repressions 
and the infantile fixation on the parents. The destruction of mysticism is not a goal in itself. The therapist treats 
mysticism like any other psychic fact which aids sexual repression and absorbs the natural energies. The sex- 
economic process, then, does not consist in opposing the mystical ideology with a "materialistic, anti-religious" 
ideology. Such ideological manipulation is explicitly avoided, since it would not alter the biopathy. The process 
is, rather, that of unmasking the mystical attitude as an antisexual force and of liberating the energies which 
nourish it, of making them available for rational use. The patient, previously moralistic in his ideology and 
perverse, lascivious and neurotic in reality, becomes free of this contradiction in himself; with his moralism he 
also loses his sexual anti- sociality and acquires a natural morality in the sex-economic sense. The inadequate 
moralistic and mystical inhibitions are replaced by sex-economic regulation of the sexual needs. 

From its own standpoint, then, mysticism is entirely correct if, in order to maintain itself and in order to 
reproduce itself in people, it takes such a strong stand against sexuality. It is wrong only in one of its premises 
and in its most important justification: Its "morals" create the very perverted sexual life which it presumes to 
regulate moralistic ally; and the elimination of these "morals" is the prerequisite for an elimination of that 
immorality which it tries in vain to fight. This is the inexorable tragedy of any kind of moralism and mysticism. 
The uncovering of the sex-economic processes which nourish religious mysticism means its end, sooner or later, 
no matter what the mystics do. 

Sexual consciousness and mystical feeling are mutually exclusive. From the point of view of energy, natural 
sexuality and mystical feeling are identical, as long as natural sexuality is repressed and its energies are 
transformed into mystical excitation. 

These sex-economic facts have inevitable consequences for a mass mental hygiene. These we shall present after 
discussing some frequent objections. 


Sex-economic practice shows that economists argue against sex-economy because of its "exaggeration of the 
sexual problem," and that they use the least difficulties, many of which are inevitable in such a new field, as 
grounds to throw out the whole field. To begin with, these opponents of sex-economy have no reason for any 
jealousy. Sex-economic cultural work does not mean any encroachment on their domain, or a restriction of their 
field of work; its goal is the comprehension of a hitherto completely neglected but extremely important part of the 
cultural process. The sex-economic fight is part of the total fight of the suppressed and exploited against the 
suppressors and exploiters. To try to make an armchair decision on what will be the place of this fight in the 
struggle of the working people would mean indulgence in scholastic discussion. Up to now, in the discussions of 

the role and significance of sex-economy, it has been customary, instead of reaching a conclusion from practice, 
to postulate a rivalry between economic policy and sexual policy. Such discussions are a waste of time. When all 
professional workers do their utmost in the fight against dictatorial forms, when every worker masters his own 
field of work, then all discussions about the social significance of the various branches of work will become 
superfluous because this significance will become self-evident. It is important to remember the basic fact that the 
economic forms also determine the sexual forms, and that the conditions of sexual living cannot be changed 
without changing the economic and social forms of living. 

The empty objection is continually made that sex-economy is "individualistic" and therefore of no use for social 
endeavors. There are many slogans which are long-lived and which can be eliminated only by radical means. 
True, the method by which sex-economic findings are obtained is "individualistic." But, does the social 
suppression of sexuality not apply to all members of our society? Is the prevailing sexual misery not collective? Is 
the social fight against tuberculosis individualistic because the study [158] of tuberculosis is carried out in the 
individual patient? Up to now, the revolutionary movement has made the serious mistake of considering sexuality 
a "private matter." But it is not a private matter to political reaction which always proceeds on two fronts 
simultaneously: that of economic politics, and that of "moral revival." The movement for freedom, thus far, has 
proceeded on a single front. It is a matter of mastering the sexual problem on a social scale, of changing the 
backstage of personal living into mass mental hygiene, of including the sexual problem in the total fight, instead 
of restricting oneself to population politics. The revolutionary movement made the mistake of applying the 
political slogans from trade union politics and from the political struggle to all other fields of social life, instead 
of developing, in each field of human life and activity, a concept and policy which would correspond to that 
particular field. Thus, the leading officials of the German sex-political organization proposed, in 1932, to exclude 
the sexual question and to "mobilize" the masses, in the sexual field, with the slogan "against hunger and cold." 
They opposed the sexual question with the "social question," as if the sexual question were not part and parcel of 
the total social complex! 

Population politics, to which the sexual reform movement restricts itself, are, in the strict sense of the word, not 
sex-political. They are not concerned with the regulation of the sexual needs, but only with the increase of birth 
rate. True, this makes the sexual act necessary, but otherwise they have nothing to do with sexuality in the social 
and biological sense. The population as a whole is not in the least interested in questions of population politics. 
They are interested in the legal aspect of abortion not for reasons of population politics but for reasons of 
personal need. To the extent to which the abortion paragraph leads to worries, misery and death, it is a problem of 
general social politics. It becomes a sex-political issue only when it is clearly realized that the paragraph is 
violated because people must have sexual intercourse, whether they want children or not. This has been 
completely overlooked although it is, emotionally, the most important [159] aspect of the problem. If anyone 
were to say to the masses today, "You complain about the disease and the deaths brought about by the abortion 
paragraph. Well — you don't have to have sexual intercourse," he would be laughed at. People are not interested in 
population politics. No sexual reform or sex policy movement makes sense unless it advocates, clearly and 
openly, the necessity of a satisfactory sex life. To the average man or woman of every social stratum, their sexual 
needs which are constantly on their minds are much more important than statistics concerning the deaths resulting 
from the abortion paragraph. The former appeals to their most personal interests, the latter presuppose a social 
conscience, something which cannot always be expected to be present in the human of today. In the field of the 
satisfaction of hunger, one appeals, propagandistically, to the personal needs and not to abstract social or political 
concepts; in the sex-economic field, this should be just as self-evident. The sexual problem, then, far from being 
individualistic, is a mass problem, a primordial problem of social life and mass mental hygiene. 

A more serious objection is one which might be made by a psychoanalyst. He might say that it was altogether 
Utopian to utilize the sexual misery of people "politically" in the way in which material misery is utilized, 
because in the treatment of the individual, it takes months and years of toil to make the patient conscious of his 
sexual needs; because the moralistic inhibitions are anchored just as deeply as the sexual demands and they have 

the upper hand. How, he will ask, will it be possible to overcome sexual repression in the masses if one does not 
have a mass technique corresponding to the individual analytic technique? This objection has to be taken 
seriously. But if such objections had kept me from starting practical sex-economic work with the masses which 
gave me invaluable experience, I would have had to agree with those who push aside sex-economy as an 
"individualistic" problem and who wait for a second Messiah to solve the problem. A psychiatrist told me once 
that my work would amount to nothing but superficial enlightenment which would not touch the deep-seated sex- 
repressing forces. In the begin- [160]ning, I could not have answered these objections. The answers were 
provided, however, by practical experience. 

To begin with, we must realize that the task of sex-economic mass hygiene is different from that of individual 
vegetotherapeutic treatment. In the latter, we have to eliminate repressions and establish biological health. This is 
not the task of social sex-economy. Its task is that of making conscious the conflict and the suffering in the 
suppressed mass individual. People know that they are "moral." But they are not conscious of the fact that they 
have a sexuality which must be gratified; or, if they know it, this knowledge is inhibited to such an extent that it 
no longer has any practical consequence. One might object again that making people conscious of their sexual 
needs requires individual work on their repressions. But again, the problem is different on the mass basis than in 
individual therapy. Practical experience shows the following: If I talk with a sexually inhibited woman in my 
office about her sexual needs, she will mobilize her whole moral apparatus against me, and I shall not be able to 
convince her of anything. If, however, this same woman is exposed to a mass atmosphere, for example that of a 
meeting in which sexual needs, in their medical and social aspects, are clearly and openly discussed, she will 
react altogether differently. She does not feel alone. She feels that all the others also listen to these "prohibited" 
things. Her individual moral inhibition is countered by a collective atmosphere of sexual affirmation, by a new, 
sex-economic morality. This will paralyze — though not eliminate — her sex negation, because, secretly, she has 
the same thoughts, because secretly she also longs for sexual happiness. The mass situation makes the sexual 
demand appear in a different light: it becomes more strongly conscious and becomes socially acceptable. If 
discussed correctly, it is a much more potent argument than that of the demand for asceticism; more human, 
closer to the heart of everybody, and, deep down, affirmed by everyone. It is, then, not a matter of giving 
immediate help. It is a matter of making the suppression conscious, of setting the fight between sexuality and 
mysticism into the focus of consciousness, of arousing it with the [161] pressure of a mass ideology and of 
channeling it into social action. One might say that such an undertaking was diabolical, for what one did was to 
push people into the greatest difficulties, was to make them really sick without being able to help them. One is 
reminded of Pallenberg's saying in "Der brave Sunder": "A poor devil is man. He only does not know it. If he 
knew it, what a poor devil would he be!" The answer is: The political reaction and mysticism are infinitely more 
diabolical. For the rest, the same objection holds with regard to hunger. The Chinese coolie, for example, who 
carries his yoke unconsciously and in resignation, suffers less inwardly than he who is aware of the terrible state 
of affairs and consciously rebels against slavery. But who would demand that, for reasons of humanity, one 
should keep from the coolie the truth about his existence? Only the mystic, his fascist guiding spirit or a Chinese 
professor of sociology. This "humanity" means perpetuating its opposite. Our lack of "humanity" is the fight for 
that about which the uplifters talk so much only to let themselves be immediately "gleichgeschaltet" when a 
fascist reaction happens to occur. We admit: consistent sex-economic work brings silent suffering to the surface, 
it accentuates existing conflicts and creates new ones, it makes people incapable of tolerating their situation any 
longer. But at the same time it provides liberation: the possibility of fighting against the social causes of the 
suffering. True, sex-economic work touches upon the most difficult, most exciting and most personal aspects of 
human living. But, does not the mystical infestation of the masses do the same thing? What matters is, to what 
purpose one or the other is being done. He who has seen the light in the eyes of people in sex-economic meetings; 
he who has listened to and had to answer thousands of questions of a most personal nature, knows that here is 
social dynamite which can make this world of self-destruction stop and think. True, however, if this work should 
be done by "revolutionaries" who vie with the church in the advocacy of moralistic mysticism; who consider 

answering sexual questions "beneath the sublime quality of the revolutionary ideology"; who do away [162] with 
such things as infantile masturbation as a "bourgeois invention"; who, in brief, in spite of their "Leninism" and 
"Marxism" are essentially reactionary, then, indeed, it might easily appear that my concepts are erroneous, for 
then the masses would immediately react with sex negation. 

We shall have to say a few words more about the role of the moralistic resistance which we meet in our work. 
We have said that the moralistic inhibitions — which today, in contrast to the sexual demands, have the support of 
the total sex-negating atmosphere of authoritarian society — can be put out of operation by the creation of an 
opposite, sex-affirmative ideology. People can become capable of absorbing sex-economic knowledge and can 
thus be removed from the sphere of influence of mysticism and of the reactionary forces. Clearly, such an 
atmosphere of sex-affirmation can be created only by a powerful international sex-economic organization. It was 
impossible to convince the leadership of political parties that this would be one of their main tasks. In the 
meantime, politics themselves have been shown to be reactionary irrationalism. Thus we know that we cannot 
count on any political party. The task lies in the framework of natural work-democratic development. 

Up to this point, we have mentioned only the mute, unexpressed needs of the mass individuals as a possible 
basis for our endeavors. These would be insufficient. Between the turn of the century and the first world war, 
these needs and their suppression were also in existence; nevertheless, a sex-economic movement would have had 
little chance of success in that period. Since then, some objective social prerequisites of sex-economic work have 
come about which it is necessary to know and understand thoroughly. The fact alone that in Germany, between 
the years of 1931 and 1933, a great number of sex-economic organizations, of diverse forms and tendencies, 
developed, points to the development of new concepts as part of the total social process. One important 
contributing factor was the creation of huge industrial plants with armies of workers and employees. This shook 
the very pillars of the moralistic and antisexual tradi-[163]tion, the small economic unit and the family. The 
second world war has already accelerated this process tremendously. The women and girls working in factories 
have developed freer concepts of sexual living than the authoritarian parental home allowed them to develop. 
While the industrial workers as a whole had always been more accessible to sex affirmation, the disintegration of 
authoritarian moralism also pervaded the middle classes to an ever-increasing degree. If one compares the middle 
class youth of today with that of 1910, it is easy to see that the chasm between the actuality of sexual living and 
social sexual ideology has become unbridgeable. The ideal of the ascetic girl has become something to be 
ashamed of, let alone the ideal of the sexless male. Even in the middle classes, more honest and open attitudes 
toward compulsive marital faithfulness become more and more frequent. The industrial mode of production made 
the contradictions of reactionary sexual politics obvious. A return to the old harmony between actual living and 
ascetic ideology — as it was still common around the turn of the century — is impossible. As a sex-economist, one 
is aware of the thorough disintegration of the moralistic ascetic forms of living, no matter how vociferously they 
may still be advocated. The collectivization of life, particularly among youth, has not only undermined the 
restrictive powers of the authoritarian parental home; it has also created in the youths of today a yearning for 
scientific facts in the fight for sexual health, a yearning for sexual consciousness and natural health. Around the 
turn of the century, it was inconceivable that Christian women would join birth control organizations; today it is 
commonplace. This process, in its totality, was not interrupted by the advent of fascism in Germany; it was only 
driven underground. The question remains how this process will develop if fascist mentality, after the destruction 
of organized fascism, is going to last longer than we have reason to fear anyhow. 

Further, related objective facts are the rapid increase of neurotic and biopathic diseases as an expression of a 
disturbed sexual economy, and the accentuation of the conflict between actual [164] sexual demands on the one 
hand and old moralistic inhibition and education on the other. The rapid increase of the biopathies 3 leads to an 
increased recognition of the sexual causation of many diseases. 

The most important fact, from the point of view of practical sex-economy, is the impotence of political reaction 
in the face of sex-economic work. It is a well-known fact that in public libraries, the sexological trash is read 
more avidly than anything else. This provides a measure of the importance of the problem of sex-economy if it 

succeeds in rationally guiding this enormous interest. The Fascists can dupe the masses, mystical and 
authoritarian as they are, for a considerable period of time by pretending that they are advocating the right to 
work and the right of the workers. But it is different in the sex-economic field. Political reaction can never 
succeed in countering a revolutionary sex-economic program by a reactionary sex-political program other than by 
complete suppression and negation of sexual life. Such a program would immediately repulse the masses, with 
the exception of politically insignificant groups of old women and hopelessly dessicated individuals. It is youth 
that matters. And youth is no longer on a mass basis accessible to a sex-negating ideology. This is our strength. In 
1932, sex-economic organizations in Germany succeeded in gaining the support of organizations which had 
remained for years resistant to the propaganda of the "Red Union." It is clear that sex-economic mass hygiene 
must become an integral part of the general social freedom movements. But the fact must be kept in mind that 
there are fascist workers, employees and students who are in entire agreement with the revolutionary affirmation 
of sexuality, which brings them into conflict with their leadership. What could this leadership do if one were to 
succeed in solving this conflict? Nothing but use terror. To the same extent it would lose in influence. To repeat, 
the objective loosening of the reactionary fetters on sexuality cannot be undone, and this represents our greatest 

3 Cf. Thorburn, Wm. F., "Mechanistic medicine and the biopathies." Internat. J. of Sex-economy and Orgone-Research 1, 1942, 257. 

[165] There is, of course, the possibility that, if the revolutionary movement does not master this field, youth will 
have to continue leading a secret life as before, without being conscious of the causation and of the consequences 
of such living. If sex-economic work were done consistently and correctly, political reaction would have no 
answer, no ideology with which to counter it. Its ascetic ideology is tenable only as long as the element of sex 
affirmation in the masses is secret and contradictory, as long as it is not collectively opposed to the reactionary 

German fascism made every possible effort to anchor itself in the psychic structure, and therefore placed the 
greatest emphasis on the conversion of adolescents and children. To do this, it had at its disposal no other means 
than the creation and the nurturing of submissiveness to authority the basic prerequisite of which is an ascetic, sex- 
negating upbringing. The natural sexual strivings for the other sex, strivings which from infancy on urge for 
gratification, were replaced partly by homosexual and sadistic strivings, partly by asceticism. There was, for 
instance, the "spirit of comradeship" in the work service camps, and the cultivation of the so-called "spirit of 
discipline and self-sacrifice." These measures served the purpose of mobilizing sadistic brutality to be utilized in 
the imperialistic war. Sadism derives from unsatisfied orgastic longing. The facade is called "comradeship," 
"honor," "voluntary discipline"; behind it is secret rebellion because of the suppression of any individual life, in 
particular, of a sexual life. A consistent sex-economic policy must set this sexual deprivation into focus; in so 
doing, it will have the liveliest response among the young people. The fascist leader will be perplexed and 
helpless in the face of this response. It is easy to see why the average youth can easily be made conscious of his 
sexual deprivation. Experience among youth shows that adolescents, particularly girls, comprehend their social 
responsibility much more quickly, readily and affectively if one explains it to them by way of making them 
conscious of their sexual suppression. It is only a matter of correctly comprehending the sexual question and of 
going on from there to the general [166] social situation. This can be substantiated with thousands of examples. 
One should not be intimidated by empty objections and should let oneself be guided by sex-economic experience 

What answer would political reaction have to such a query as the following from German youth? 

The inclusion of German youth in the labor service has interfered tremendously with their private and sexual life. Urgent questions 
have to be solved; there are serious conditions everywhere. The situation is made all the more serious by a general hesitation on the 
part of the adolescents to bring up their personal problems, burning as they may be, for discussion; in addition, the camp 
administration prohibits the discussion of any such questions. But it is a matter of the psychic and physical health of the youths! 

What is the sex life of the adolescents in the camps like? 

The labor service youths are at the age of flourishing sexuality. Most of them previously had been maintaining a satisfactory love 
relationship. True, their love life was even then impeded by the lack of rooms which would make a healthy love life possible, by the 
lack of money for proper contraceptives, by the enmity of the state authorities and the reactionaries. But this situation has been made 
ever so much worse by the labor service. There are all of the following things, and others: 

No chance of getting together with girls, of maintaining the old love relationships; 

Being forced into abstinence or masturbation; 

This leads to a disintegration and brutalization of sexuality, the weedlike growth of dirty jokes and talk, the cancer- like growth of 
unhealthy, paralyzing phantasies (of rape, beating and all kinds of perversions); 
Nocturnal emissions which undermine health and give no satisfaction; 

Development of homosexual tendencies and of homosexual relations between fellows who previously had never thought of such 
things; being pestered by homosexuals; 
Increased nervousness, irritability, neurotic states and physical complaints. 
[167] Dangers for the future. 

Every adolescent, particularly at this age of between seventeen and twenty-five, who lacks a satisfactory sex life is threatened with 
a later disturbance of potency which always leads to depression and a reduction of the ability to work. If an organ or a natural 
function is not used for a long time, it will refuse to function later on. The usual results are nervous and mental disease, and 

What should our attitude be toward the measures and decrees of the administration in these matters? 

The leadership keeps talking in general terms of "moral strengthening of youth." We don't understand what that means. In the 
course of the years, German youth, in a hard struggle against the parental home and the bosses of the system, have begun to establish 
their right to a healthy sex life. True, under present social conditions they succeeded only partially. But their idea was clear: Youth 
has to fight, will all possible means, against the sexual hypocrisy, intolerance and indecency which result from the sexual oppression 
of youth. Their idea was that girls and boys are to live in good intellectual and sexual companionship, and that it is the duty of 
society to help them to do so. What is the attitude of the new German Reich? 

Its decrees, thus far, are at strict variance with the concepts worked out by youth. The prohibition of the public sale of 
contraceptives has made it impossible to get them. Measures such as that of the Hamburg police against sport people, their 
threatening them with the concentration camp for "offending public morals" is at variance with our rights. Is it "offending public 
morals" when a boy sleeps with his girl? 

We ask the Reich Administration for German Youth: What kind of a sexual life is youth to lead? There are only four possibilities: 

1. Abstinence. Is youth supposed to live in abstinence, that is, to abstain from any sexual activity until marriage? 

2. Masturbation. Is youth supposed to indulge in self-gratification? 

3. Homosexuality. Is German youth supposed to engage in homosexual activity? If so, what kind? Mutual masturbation? Pederasty? 

4. Natural love life. Should there be natural sexual relationships between German boys and girls? Should they affirm and further 
natural sexuality? If so, we ask the following questions: 

Where shall this love life take place (problem of housing)? 

[168] When is it to take place? 

What is to be done about contraceptives? 

Is the adolescent allowed to do the same thing as the leader? 

Similar questions apply to the work with children. It may sound strange, and incomprehensible to many, but it is 
a fact: Revolutionary work with children can be essentially only sex-economic work. Why are children of pre- 
adolescent age most easily guided by sexual education? 

1 . In all social strata, including those in which material needs play an outstanding role, the period of childhood 
more than any other is filled with sexual interests. While dire material need and hunger are acute problems for 
only a part of the children, sexual suppression affects every single child of every social stratum. This makes the 
social sphere of attack enormous. 

2. The usual methods of the freedom movements in organizing children are the reactionary methods of work 
with children: group plays, singing, marching, uniforms, bands, etc. The average child makes no distinction in 
content between the reactionary and the revolutionary forms of propaganda. One should have no illusions: 
children and adolescents will march as readily to the sound of a fascist band tomorrow as they march today to the 
sound of a democratic band. In addition, political reaction is much better at organizing group propaganda among 

children than the antifascist movement ever was. This was shown in the fact that the Socialist movement in 
Germany was always very weak as compared with the reactionaries in their work with children. 

3. Although the reactionary work with children may be more efficient in everything else, there is one thing it 
cannot do under any circumstances: Give the children true sexual knowledge, free them from sexual confusion. 
This only the revolutionary movement can do. First, because it has no interest in the sexual suppression of 
children, it has only the opposite interest; second, because the revolutionary movement was always the advocate 
of a consistent natural upbringing. This mighty weapon, however, [169] remained unused; more than that, the 
children's organizations in Germany showed a definite aversion to changing the customary individual sexual 
enlightenment into a mass measure. In a tragicomic manner, these opponents of sex-economic work among 
children pointed to Marx and Lenin. True, their writings contained nothing about sex-economy. But there was the 
fact that the children, en masse, fell victim to the influence of political reaction. In spite of great difficulties, the 
possibilities of sex-economic work with children are enormous because the children will show a burning interest. 
Once children and adolescents are reached on a mass basis through their sexual interests, there will be a powerful 
counterweight against the reactionary forces: political reaction will be powerless. 

For the doubters and those who are moralistically concerned about the "purity" of the children, one need cite 
only two practical experiences out of many: 

First: the church is not so scrupulous. A boy of fifteen, who had left a fascist organization to join the Communist 
youth, reported that in the former organization a priest would have a private talk with every individual boy once a 
week in which he would question him about his sexual behavior. Regularly, he asked them whether they had 
masturbated, which, of course, was the case and guiltily admitted. The priest then would say: "This is a great sin, 
indeed, my boy. But you can atone for it by working for the church industriously. Go and distribute these 
pamphlets tomorrow." Such is the sex-political practice of mysticism. We, on the other hand, are "inhibited," 
"pure," do not want to have anything to do with "such things." And then we are surprised that mysticism gets hold 
of the majority of adolescents. 

Second: the sex-economic work group in Berlin had collectively outlined a booklet to be used in the work with 
(The chalk triangle. Association for the discovery of the adults' secrets). Before going to press with it, it was 
decided to read it to a group of children to study their reaction. One could have wished that all those who turn up 
[170] their noses in contempt at the mention of social sex-economy had been present. To begin with, there were 
seventy children present, instead of the usual twenty. While ordinarily it was difficult to get the children's 
attention, now they were all ears, their faces expressed rapt attention. At many points, the reading was interrupted 
by loud applause. At the end, the children were asked for their criticism and suggestions. A great many 
responded. One had good reason to be ashamed of one's prudishness and hesitation. The teachers who were 
among the authors had decided to omit the topics of contraception and infantile masturbation. Promptly there 
were questions like, "Why don't you say anything about how one avoids getting children?" while a boy laughingly 
interjected, "That we know anyhow." "What's that, a harlot? Nothing was said about that." "Tomorrow we'll go to 
the Christians," they said enthusiastically, "they always talk about such things. We'll show them." "When is the 
book going to come out? How much will it be? Will it be cheap enough so we can buy it and also distribute it?" 
The part which had been read dealt mostly with sex information; the children were told that a second part was 
planned which would deal with social problems. The immediate reaction was, "When will the second volume 
come out? Will that also be so entertaining?" When did a group of children ever ask so enthusiastically for social 
literature? Should this not teach us something? Yes, there is no doubt: By the affirmation of their sexual interests 
and the gratification of their urge for knowledge, the children must be educated to social responsibility. They 
must get the conviction that that is something which political reaction cannot give them. In this way, one will win 
them on a mass basis, will immunize them, in all countries, against reactionary influences, and will make them 
part of the revolutionary freedom movement. For the time being, however, this task is impeded not only by 
political reaction but also by the moralists in the freedom movement. 

Another important sex-economic task is the clarification of the sexual situation which has been created anew in 
Germany by the relegation of women from industry back to the hearth. It must [171] become clear that the 
freedom of woman means, first of all, sexual freedom. It must be realized that to a great many women, economic 
dependence on the man is a burden not in itself but essentially because of the sexual restriction that goes with it. 
This is also shown by the fact that women who have repressed their sexuality to such an extent that they are not 
aware of any sexual needs not only tolerate their economic dependence without conflict, but even affirm it. If 
economic dependence on the man is to be utilized politically, then the arousing of sexual consciousness in women 
and their knowledge of the result of sexual abstinence are the most important prerequisites. If these are not 
fulfilled by the sex-economic organizations then the new wave of sexual suppression in fascism will make the 
women unaware of their economic slavery. In Germany and other highly industrialized countries, the objective 
social prerequisites of a stormy rebellion of women and adolescents against the sexual reaction are given. 
Absolutely consistent sex-economic work in this field would finally eliminate a problem which again and again 
occupies the freethinkers and the politicians, without their finding the answer: the problem of why women and 
adolescents show such an incomparably greater readiness to follow political reaction. No other field shows so 
clearly the social function of sexual suppression, the close connection between sexual repression and a 
reactionary political attitude. 

Finally, an objection which is difficult to answer: True, the sexual problem is the most burning problem among 
the masses; but does that mean that this interest can be utilized for the social revolution which requires such great 
sacrifices? Will not the masses insist on getting sexual freedom immediately once they are conscious of their 
sexual oppression? The more difficult the task is, the more imperative is it to scrutinize thoroughly every 
objection. One must guard against wishful thinking and against taking for practicable what is only in itself 
correct. In the fight against hunger, the decisive factor is not one's burning wish to eliminate it, but whether or not 
the objective prerequisites are given. The question, then, is whether the sexual interest and the sexual misery of 
the masses can be translated, like the gross mate-[172]rial misery, into social action against the system which 
creates the misery. We have mentioned some practical experiences and the theoretical considerations which 
indicate that what succeeds in individual groups, in individual mass meetings, must be possible also on a mass 
basis. But we failed to mention some indispensable prerequisites. They are: A unification of the workers' 
movement in itself; without this, the sex-economic work can have only a preparatory character; the creation of an 
international sex-economic organization which would organize and carry out the practical realization; a number 
of thoroughly trained leaders of the movement. For the rest, one should not try to solve in advance every problem 
to the last detail; that would be only confusing and paralyzing. The practical details will be solved in the course of 
practical work. 


Hitler not only based his power originally on masses which previously had been essentially unpolitical; he also 
achieved his final victory in March, 1933, in a "legal" manner, by the mobilization of not less than five million of 
previous non-voters, that is, unpolitical people. The Leftist parties had made every effort to win the indifferent 
masses, without asking themselves what being "indifferent" or "unpolitical" means. 

When an industrialist is clearly Rightist, this is understandable on the basis of his immediate economic interests. 
A Leftist orientation in him would be at variance with his social situation and would, therefore, be irrationally 
motivated. When an industrial worker is Leftist, this again is consistent with his economic and social position. If, 
on the other hand, a worker or employee has a Rightist orientation, it is for want of political clarity, because of an 
ignorance of his social position. The more unpolitical an individual belonging to the great masses of working 
people is, the more accessible he is to the ideology of political reaction. It is erroneous to believe that this being- 
unpolitical is a passive psychic condition. On the contrary, it is a highly active attitude, a defense against the 
awareness of social responsibility. An analysis of this attitude throws light on many aspects of the behavior of the 

[173] unpolitical masses. The average intellectual who "does not want to have anything to do with politics" is 
motivated by immediate economic interests and fear for his existence, dependent as it is on public opinion; out of 
this fear, he sacrifices knowledge and conviction to a grotesque degree. Among the people who are in some way 
part of the process of production and yet are socially irresponsible, two large groups can be distinguished. In one, 
the concept of politics is unconsciously associated with the concept of violence and bodily danger, that is, with an 
intense fear which prevents them from a realistic orientation. In the other, much larger group, social 
irresponsibility is due to personal conflicts and worries, among which sexual conflicts predominate. When a 
young employee, whose economic position is such as to make her conscious of her social responsibility, is, 
nevertheless, socially irresponsible, it is, in ninety-nine out of a hundred cases, because of her "love affairs," that 
is, her sexual conflicts. The same is true of the middle-class woman who must muster all her psychic strength in 
order to master her sexual situation at least to such an extent that she does not completely collapse. Up to now, 
the revolutionary movement has misunderstood this situation. It tried to mobilize the "unpolitical" individuals 
politically solely by trying to make them conscious of their thwarted economic interests. Experience has shown 
that the majority of these "unpolitical" individuals would not even listen to such economico-political talks; but 
they would be readily swayed by the mystical phrases of a National Socialist who would not even say much about 
economic interests. How is this to be explained? It is explained by the fact that sexual conflicts — in the broadest 
sense of the word — be they conscious or unconscious, inhibit rational thinking and the development of social 
responsibility; they make the individual apprehensive and armored. If, then, such an individual meets a Fascist 
who works with the means of credulity and mysticism, that is, with sexual, libidinous means, he turns completely 
to him. This is not because the fascist program impresses him more than the revolutionary program, but because 
his surrender to the Fiihrer and his ideology provides a momentary release from his chronic inner tension; because 
he can unconsciously give a new form to [174] his conflict and thereby seemingly solve it; because he may even 
look upon the Fascist as a revolutionary, consider Hitler the German Lenin. It is easy to see how the erotically 
exciting forms of fascism provide a sort of gratification to a sexually resigned middle-class woman who never 
thought of social responsibility or to a salesgirl who cannot develop a consciousness of social responsibility 
because of her preoccupation with her sexual conflicts. One has to know the life of these millions of socially 
suppressed unpolitical individuals in order to understand the role which people's private life, that is essentially 
their sex life, plays in the total social process in a subterranean way. Hitler knew how to utilize this helplessness 
born of sexual misery. 

The socially irresponsible individual is the individual absorbed in sexual conflicts. To try to make him socially 
responsible by excluding his sexuality from consideration, as has been done hitherto, is not only hopeless; it is the 
surest way of handing him over to political reaction which knows very well how to utilize the results of his sexual 
misery. Clearly, the only way out is social comprehension of his sex life. As simple as this conclusion is, there 
was a time when I myself shrank from it. I can understand, therefore, that professional politicians may consider 
such a concept the product of a politically naive armchair scientist. But if one attended sex-economic meetings 
one found that they attracted for the most part people who had never gone to any political meetings. The sex- 
economic organizations in Western Germany were comprised predominantly of unorganized and unpolitical 
people. The ignorance of the professional politicians in this regard is demonstrated by the fact that for thousands 
of years the international organization of mysticism, in every city, town and hamlet, has been holding, at least 
once a week, an impressive sex-political meeting in their sense, for this is what the church meetings or the rituals 
of the Mohammedans, Jews, etc., are. In the face of existing sex-economic experience and the findings 
concerning the relationship between mysticism and sexual suppression, neglect or even denial of these facts lends 
an unpardonable, reactionary support to intellectual medievalism and economic slavery. 




When the early settlers in America's wilderness got lost they tried to find the path on which they had come, in 
order to proceed anew from known into unknown terrain. For this, they did not form political parties, nor did they 
engage in endless debates about the unknown terrain, nor did they bash one another's heads in or demand of one 
another programs of settlement. On the basis of a given situation, they acted, spontaneously, in a work- 
democratic way: by common effort, they worked through to known terrain and tried to find their way again from 

When a vegetotherapist, in the course of a treatment, loses his way in the maze of irrational reactions, he does 
not start a discussion with the patient about "the existence or non-existence of God." He does not become neurotic 
or irrational, but he thinks the situation over and reviews the course of the treament; he goes back to the last point 
in the development at which the course of the treatment was still clear. 

Every living being will spontaneously attempt to discover and to eliminate the cause of a catastrophe which has 
overcome it; it will not repeat actions which have brought about the very catastrophe. This lies in the nature of 
overcoming misfortune by experience. Our politicians, however, are far from having such natural reactions. One 
might rightly say that it is of the essence of the world of the politicos not to learn from experience. Austrian 
monarchism kindled the first world war in 1914; then, it engaged in armed warfare against the American 
democrats. In the second world war, in 1942, it demanded, with the aid of American politicians, to have the 
Hapsburg dynasty reinstated, in order "to avoid new wars." This is irrational political nonsense. 

[176] In the first world war, "the Italians" were friends and allies of the Americans. In the second world war, 
1942, they were enemies, and in 1943, again friends. In the first world war, 1914, "the Italians" were deadly 
enemies of "the Germans," "hereditary foes." In the second world war, 1940, "the Italians" and "the Germans" 
were blood brothers, again for "hereditary" reasons, only to become again sworn enemies in 1943. In the next 
world war, say, 1963, "the Germans" and "the French" will have turned from "hereditary foes" into "hereditary 

All this is a manifestation of the emotional plague. Imagine that Copernicus, in the 16th century, declares that 
the earth revolves around the sun, that his pupil, in the 17th century, declares that the earth does not revolve 
around the sun, and that this man's pupil, in the 18th century, declares that it does, after all. But imagine that in 
the 20th century, the astronomers declare that Copernicus as well as his pupils were right, because the earth does 
revolve around the sun and remains, at the same time, stationary. If it is a matter of a Copernicus, one is only too 
ready to condemn him to be burned alive. If, however, a politico presents the most incredible nonsense as true, 
and maintains, in 1940, the exact opposite to be true from what he declared to be the truth in 1939, then millions 
of people acclaim the miracle that has happened. 

In sound science, one does not develop any new theories as long as one can operate well with the old ones. 
When, however, the old theories have proven inadequate or erroneous, one tries to find the errors in them and 
develops new concepts on the basis of new facts. Such a natural procedure is alien to politicians. No matter how 
many new facts are added to the old, no matter how many errors have become obvious, the old theories continue 
to exist in the form of slogans and new facts are obfuscated in an illusory way. The democratic formalities 
disillusioned millions of people in Europe and thus made fascist dictatorship possible. The democratic politicians 
fail to go back to the starting points of the democratic principles, to correct them according to the radical changes 
that have taken place in social living, and to make them practically fruitful. They continue to arrange plebiscites 
[177] about formalities, about precisely those formalities which in Europe came to such an inglorious end. 

People want to plan peace systems and vote on them. But clearly, they are afraid of these very peace systems 
even before planning them. The basic elements of peace and human collaboration are tangibly given in natural 
human work relationships. It is from these relationships that the guarantees of peaceableness have to be 
developed. It is not necessary first to "introduce" them. A good physician does not "introduce" a "new health" 
into a sick organism. Instead, he finds out what elements of health are spontaneously present in the sick organism. 

When he has found them, he plays them against the disease process. The same thing applies to the sick social 
organism, if one approaches it from the standpoint of social science and not with political ideas and programs. 
One can only organically develop actually existing freedoms and eliminate the obstacles which stand in their way. 
One cannot graft legally guaranteed freedoms upon a sick social organism. 

The Soviet Union lends itself best to a presentation of the relationship between the masses and the state, for the 
following reasons: The way was prepared for the social revolution of 1917 by a sociological theory which had 
been tested for decades. The Russian revolution made use of this theory. Many millions of people took part in this 
social revolution, suffered it, enjoyed it, carried it further. What has become of the sociological theory and of the 
masses in the "proletarian state" in the course of 20 years? 

One cannot ignore the development of the Soviet Union if one is seriously concerned with the questions of what 
democracy is and of whether and how it can be made a reality. The difference between work-democratic mastery 
of difficulties on the one hand and formal-democratic politicking was particularly clearly demonstrated in the 
attitude of the diverse political and economic organizations toward the Soviet Union. 

1936: Telling truths — but how and when? The Italian- Abyssinian war had broken out, everything was in flux. 
Nobody knew [178] what changes the world would undergo in the next few months or years. The organized 
workers' movement did not take a hand in the events. It was internationally split up; it remained inactive or 
followed helplessly this or that political view. True, in Geneva the Soviet Union had fought for peace through 
Litvinov, but had completely failed as a pioneer social force. New, unheard-of catastrophes were to be expected 
for which one had to prepare. On the one hand, they might point to a way out of the social chaos; on the other 
hand, they might do so no more than had the events in Germany in 1918 and 1933. It was necessary to prepare 
oneself in time structurally for great social changes. It was necessary not to get lost in the maze of all the 
confused and contradictory political views, to isolate oneself from everyday political noise and, at the same time, 
to maintain close contact with the social processes of the day. Adherence to the work on the problem of human 
structure seemed more important than ever. Clarity concerning the development of the Soviet Union was 
imperative. Millions and millions of working people in Germany, England, America, China, etc., hopefully 
followed every step taken by the Soviet Union. Those trained in mass psychology knew that if disillusionment in 
the Soviet Union were added to the catastrophe in Germany, serious struggling for clarity would be the first 
prerequisite for maintaining scientific integrity. 

The second world war in one generation was imminent. There was yet time to think about what would come 
after this second world war, to arrive, from the new massacre, at an understanding of the war psychosis which 
would be deadly to the war makers. Those who knew this were hard put to it to keep a cool head. But it had to be 
done, for this second war, which had started in Africa and would soon encircle the globe, would also come to an 
end sometime. Then, the answer would have to be "death to the war makers" and "elimination of the causes of 
war." But nobody knew what this answer would be like. 

In 1935 it was clear that the development of the Soviet Union was about to take a catastrophic turn. The 
democratic politicians of Germany, Scandinavia, etc., did not look for the causes of this [179] catastrophe, 
although they talked about it a good deal. They failed to go back to the genuinely democratic endeavors of Engels 
and Lenin in order to familiarize themselves with the sociological starting points of the Soviet Union, and to 
proceed from there to a comprehension of the later development. It was no more possible in Europe to ignore 
these pioneers of genuine democracy than it is for a genuine democratic American to ignore the American 
constitution and the fundamental thoughts of such American pioneers as Jefferson or Lincoln. Engels was the 
outstanding exponent of German democracy, Lenin of Russian democracy. They had not remained bogged down 
in formalities but had disclosed the essence of democracy. They were avoided. It is irrelevant whether this was 
caused by fear of being suspected of being a Communist or by fear of losing academic positions or positions in a 
political party. Engels was a well-to-do manufacturer and Lenin a well-to-do son of an official. It was 
descendants of the "ruling classes" who tried to develop a system of true democracy from Marx's socio-economic 
theory (which, incidentally, also originated in "bourgeois circles"). 

The democratic thought system of Engels and Lenin became forgotten. It was too hard to swallow, it made too 
high demands on the conscientiousness of the European and, as was shown later, also of the Russian politicians 
and sociologists. 

It is not possible today to present natural work democracy without studying the forms in which it was present in 
the thought of Engels and Lenin between 1850 and 1920, and in the early developmental processes in the Soviet 
Union between 1917 and about 1923. The Russian revolution was a gigantic deed of social progress. Its 
inhibition, therefore, is a highly important sociological experience, a tremendous lesson for any true democratic 
endeavor. Little indeed can be expected of the purely emotional enthusiasm for Russia's heroic deeds in the war 
against Hitler. The motives of this enthusiasm which were present in 1943 but not between 1917 and 1923 are 
more than dubious; they are based far more on egoistic war interests than on the will to arrive at true democracy. 

[180] The examination of the development of the Soviet Union to follow was first written in 1935. One may ask 
why it was not published at that time. The reason is the following: In Europe, where practical mass-psychological 
work outside of the parties was not possible, it often happened that one was expelled from the organizations and 
thus deprived of contact with the masses if one made scientific investigations regardless of political interests and 
if one made predictions which were at variance with party politics. This was the same with all parties. It is of the 
essence of any party to gain its orientation not from truths but from illusions which usually correspond to the 
irrational mass structure. Scientific truths only interfered with the habit of the party politicians of avoiding 
difficulties with the aid of illusions. True, in the long run illusions do not help, as events in Europe after 1938 so 
clearly showed; true, in the long run scientific truths are the only reliable guiding lines in social life; but these 
truths with regard to the Soviet Union were as yet no more than germs, incapable of influencing public opinion or 
even of evoking mass enthusiasm. It remained for the second world war to increase the receptivity to facts 
everywhere and, what is more, to disclose the basically irrational nature of politics to great numbers of working 

The finding of facts does not ask whether the facts are welcome or not, but only whether they are correct or not. 
For this reason, it always comes into sharp conflict with politics which does not ask whether a fact is correct or 
not, but only whether or not it serves this or that political purpose. This makes things very difficult for the 
scientific sociologist. On the one hand, he must find and describe actual processes; on the other hand, he must 
remain in contact with actual social movements. In publishing painful findings, therefore, he must think over 
carefully what will be the effect of his correct statements on the masses of people who are predominantly under 
the influence of political irrationalism. A sociological concept of any considerable weight can penetrate and 
become practically important only if it has already been spontaneously acquired by the masses in their own lives. 
Outworn [181] systems of political thought and institutions inimical to freedom must, in the feelings of everyone, 
have been ruined by political machination before rational insights into the vital necessities of society can break 
through spontaneously and generally. In the United States, for example, the doings of the politicians have brought 
about a rather general realization that the politician is a cancer in the body social. In the Europe of 1935, one was 
far from such a realization. The politician was the one who determined what was to be considered true or false. 

Important social insights usually develop in the people long before they are explicitly stated or can find 
organizational expression. Today, in 1945, hatred of politics, based on well-known facts, has become more or less 
general. If, now, a group of social scientists has observed facts and formulated them well, facts which really 
correspond to the objective social process, then the "theory" will inevitably meet with the feeling for life on the 
part of the masses of people. It is as if two independent processes converged in one point, where the social 
process and the mass will become one with the sociological insight. This seems to be the case in all decisive 
social processes. It was so in the American emancipation from England in 1776 as well as in the emancipation of 
Russian society from the Tsarist state in 1917. The lack of correct sociological work may have catastrophic 
effects. In that case, objective process and mass will have matured, it is true, but they get lost again if the simple 
scientific concept is lacking which should unite them and carry them further. This was the case in Germany in 
1918 when, though imperialism was overthrown, no true democracy developed. 

The fusion of scientific and social process into the unity of a basic new social order fails to come about if the 
process of scientific insight does not grow from old concepts as organically as the social process grows from the 
misery of practical life. I say, "growing organically"; for one cannot "think out" or "plan" a new order; it must 
grow organically, in closest contact with the practical and theoretical facts of human life. For this reason, all 
attempts to [182] "reach the masses politically," to "give them revolutionary ideas," are bound to fail and to end in 
nothing but noisy and harmful party politics. 

Insight into the nature of fascism which could not be comprehended by any economistic concept of social living, 
and insight into the authoritarian nationalistic structure of the Soviet Union of 1940, developed spontaneously 
everywhere, without any "party guidance." That fascism had no more to do with the class rule of the 
"bourgeoisie" than the "Soviet democracy" of Stalin has to do with the social democracy of Lenin was general, 
though latent, knowledge. It was noted everywhere that the old concepts no longer covered the new processes. 
Those who worked with life as it is, who had come to know, through medical and pedagogical work, people of all 
professions in various countries, were in little danger of getting caught in the toils of political slogans. This was 
particularly true of those who had always been "unpolitical" and had lived only for their work. It was precisely 
these "unpolitical" people, given over to their work, who were accessible to the sociological insights which were 
so decisive in Europe then. Those, on the other hand, who had identified themselves, economically and 
ideologically, with this or that party machine, were not only rigid and inaccessible to any new insight; more than 
that, they fought with irrational hatred against any attempt to make comprehensible the basically new 
phenomenon of the authoritarian, totalitarian dictatorship. Considering, furthermore, that the party organizations 
had a purely economistic orientation while the dictatorships originated not in economic processes but in irrational 
attitudes of the masses, one can readily see how cautiously a social scientist working in the field of mass 
psychology had to proceed. In fact, all he had to do was to register conscientiously whether the social 
development confirmed or contradicted his biopsychic insights. He found that it confirmed them. There grew, in 
many physicians, teachers, writers, social workers, adolescents, industrial workers, etc., the deep conviction that 
political irrationalism would one day run its course, and that one day the demands of [183] natural work, of love 
and of knowledge, would become part of the consciousness of the broad masses and would lead to action on their 
part, without any necessity for propagandizing a corresponding theory. True, one could not foresee the degree of 
catastrophe which political irrationalism would have to produce before it would be halted by the natural feeling 
for life of the working masses and would drown in its own deeds. 

After the catastrophe in Germany in 1933, the Soviet Union found itself regressing rapidly to authoritarian and 
nationalistic social forms. That it was a matter of "nationalism" was clear to a great many scientists, journalists 
and workers' officials; but it was not clear whether it was a matter of nationalism of the fascist pattern. 

The word "fascism" is no invective, no more than the word "capitalist." It is a term which connotes a definite 
way of leading and influencing the masses: authoritarian, one-party-system, therefore totalitarian, might comes 
before real interests, political falsification of facts, etc. Consequently, there are "fascist Jews" and "fascist 

If one had published such facts, the Soviet Union would immediately have branded them as "counter- 
revolutionary," as "Trotskyite-fascist." At that time, the Soviet population still enjoyed the impetus of the 
revolution of 1917. Consumption was increasing, unemployment was practically nonexistent. The people enjoyed 
the newly created institutions — sports, theater, literature, etc. Those who had experienced the German catastrophe 
knew that these so-called cultural enjoyments of a population mean nothing with regard to the character and 
development of a society. To see movies and plays, to read books, to engage in sports, to brush one's teeth and to 
go to school is important, it is true, but it does not make the difference between a dictatorship and a democratic 
society. In either of the two, "culture is being enjoyed." It was a typical and basic error of the Socialists and 
Communists to consider the building of an apartment house, a subway or a school a "socialistic" achievement. 
Apartment buildings, subways [184] and schools have to do with the technical development of a society but do 
not indicate whether the members of this society are serfs or free workers, rational or irrational human beings. 

Since the Soviet Russians presented every technical innovation as a "specifically communistic" achievement, the 
Soviet population was under the impression that such things did not exist in capitalist countries. It was not to be 
expected, therefore, that the nationalistic degeneration of Soviet democracy would be understood by the 

It is a basic principle of mass psychology not to proclaim, on principle, "objective truths," but to ask oneself how 
the average mass individual reacts to an objective process. This attitude automatically prevents political behavior. 
For if somebody believes he has found a truth he is forced to wait until it manifests itself objectively and 
independently of him. If it fails to do that, his truth was not a truth and should remain in the background as a 

The catastrophic regression in the Soviet Union was anxiously followed everywhere in Europe. Only about 100 
copies of the pamphlet on "The Masses and the State" were sent out to various friends of sex-economic mass 
psychology in Europe, Russia and America. The prediction of the totalitarian dictatorial degeneration of Soviet 
democracy, made in 1929, was based on the fact that the sexual revolution in the Soviet Union had not only been 
inhibited, but repressed as if intentionally. As we know, sexual suppression serves the purpose of mechanizing the 
masses of people and making them dependent. Wherever we find authoritarian moralistic suppression of infantile 
and adolescent sexuality and a sexual legislation that goes with it, we can, with certainty, assume the existence of 
strong authoritarian and dictatorial tendencies in the social development, no matter what slogans the respective 
politicians may be using. Conversely, we can assume the existence of truly democratic tendencies wherever we 
find an understanding, life- affirmative attitude in the decisive social institutions toward the sexual life of children 
and adolescents; but only to the extent to which such [185] attitudes are present. When, therefore, sex-reactionary 
attitudes became more and more prominent around 1929 in the Soviet Union, one knew that an authoritarian 
dictatorial development was taking place. This I have documented extensively in my book, DIE SEXUALITAT IM 
KULTURKAMPF. 1 My predictions were confirmed by the increasing re-introduction of sex-reactionary legislation 
after 1934, the abolition of coeducation, 2 etc. At that time, I did not know yet that in the meantime a new attitude 
in sex-economic questions had developed in the United States, an attitude which later on was to facilitate the 
reception of sex-economy. 

We asked all our friends who received this unofficial pamphlet to give it some thought, and, if they agreed with 
its contents on the whole, to pass it on to such sociologists of their acquaintance who were in a position to grasp 
the contradiction in the development of the Soviet Union. The contents of this pamphlet were not to be the subject 
of newspaper articles or mass meetings; it was to be expected that events themselves would determine the time of 
public discussion. Between 1935 and 1939, there was in the leading sociological circles an increasing 
understanding for the mass-psychological causes of the authoritarian regression in the Soviet Union. This 
understanding replaced the fruitless indignation over the "regressions": one learned to understand that the further 
development failed because of the structure of the masses which made them long for authority. This insight, 
which the Soviet leaders lacked, was of tremendous importance. 


The question of the "how" of a new social order is identical with the question of what is the character structure 
of the broad masses, of the unpolitical, irrationally influenced working population. The failure of a genuine social 
revolution, then, is the indication of the failure of the masses of people: they reproduce the ideology and the 
forms of living of political reaction, in themselves 

1 In English: The Sexual Revolution, Orgone Institute Press, 1945. 

2 Cf. International Journal of Sex-economy and Orgone-Research 2, 1943, 193f. 

[186] and in every new generation. But at that time, the question, "How do the broad masses of the unpolitical 
population think, feel, and react?" was not generally asked or understood, and the possibility of handling it 

practically was remote. There was, as a result, a great deal of confusion. On the occasion of the Saar plebiscite in 
1935, the Vienna sociologist Willi Schlamm wrote the following: 

In reality, the epoch is past during which it seemed as if masses of people were to rise of their own strength, guided by reason and 
insight into their own position. In reality, there is no longer any society-forming function left for the masses. They have shown 
themselves to be completely malleable, unconscious, capable of adapting to any kind of power or infamy. In the 20th century, the 
century of the tank and the radio, the masses have been excluded from the process which forms society. 

Schlamm was right, but his approach was sterile. He did not ask the question of how such an attitude on the part 
of the masses could come about, or whether it was natural or alterable. He seemed to have no hope, not even in 

The fact has to be clearly understood that such statements were not only unpopular but dangerous to life, for the 
social-democratic parties in the countries which were as yet not fascist owed their very existence to the illusion 
that the masses, as they were, were capable of freedom, and that there would be paradise on earth if there only 
were not the evil Hitlers. Personal and public discussions showed again and again that the democratic politicians, 
particularly the social-democratic and communist politicians, did not have the slightest understanding of the 
simple fact that the masses, as a result of centuries of suppression, could be no other than incapable of freedom. 
In reality, everything that had happened in international politics since the Russian revolution in 1917 confirmed 
the correctness of the statement that the masses of people are incapable of freedom. Without this insight, an 
understanding of the fascist flood was absolutely impossible. 

When, between 1930 and 1933, 1 gradually learned in Germany [187] to recognize this fact, I came in serious 
conflict with well-meaning liberal, socialist and communist politicians. It was first published in DIE 
MASSENPSYCHOLOGIE DES FASCHISMUS in 1933 and elaborated, particularly with regard to socialist politics, in 
a pamphlet, WAS 1ST KLASSENBEWUSSTSEIN by Ernst Parell. 

The finding of the fact itself could only lead to hopelessness. For if it was true that the social process depends on 
the structure and behavior of the masses; if it is further true that the masses are incapable of freedom, then the 
victory of the fascist dictatorship was definitive. But this fact is not absolute and isolated. It must be considered 
together with two further facts: 

1. Incapacity for freedom is not naturally given. People have not always been incapable of freedom; in 
principle, then, they can become capable of freedom. 

2. As social and clinical sex-economy has convincingly demonstrated, the mechanism which makes the masses 
of people incapable of freedom is the social suppression of genital love life in children, adolescents and adults. 
This social suppression, also, is not naturally given. Rather, it has developed with patriarchy and can, in principle, 
be abolished. If, however, it can be abolished, and if it is the central mechanism of a character structure incapable 
of freedom, then things are not so hopeless. Then, society has at its disposal the means of eliminating all the 
social evils which we call "emotional plague." 

The mistake of Schlamm as of other sociologists consisted in confirming the fact of human incapacity for 
freedom yet at the same time failing to draw the consequences from social sex-economy, which he knew well 
enough, and to stand up for them. Erich Fromm, for example, in a review of DER ElNBRUCH DER 
SEXUALMORAL in the Zeitschrift fur Sozialforschung, agreed with the presentation there of the relationship 
between sexual moralism and characterological serfdom; yet, in his later publications on authority and family, 
escape from freedom, etc., he managed to leave the sexual problem of the masses and its connection with fear of 
freedom and with craving for authority completely out of the picture. Such things are difficult to understand, but 
we know [188] that sex-negation in social and personal life plays many tricks. 

The reader will have realized how much the emphasis of sociological examination shifted from economico- 
political facts to those of mass psychology, sex-economy and characterology. The finding of the masses' 
incapacity for freedom, of the suppression of natural love life as the main mechanism of producing this 
incapacity, and, principally, the shifting of responsibility from individual politicians or organizations to the 

masses themselves, were gigantic revolutions in thinking and, consequently, in the practical handling of social 
problems. One began to understand better the perennial complaint of the parties that "one had not yet succeeded 
in reaching the masses of workers." One began to understand why the masses were "completely malleable, 
unconscious, capable of adapting to any kind of power or infamy." One began to understand the fascist race 
enthusiasm of the masses, and the helplessness of those sociologists and politicians who had a merely 
economistic orientation, in the face of the catastrophic events of the first half of the 20th century. Political 
reaction, in all its forms, could now be reduced to the emotional plague which had developed since the 
introduction of authoritarian patriarchy. 

The task of a true democratic-revolutionary movement is that of guiding (not of "leading" from above!) the 
masses who, as a result of thousands of years of suppression of living functioning, have become weak-minded, 
incapable of criticism, biopathic and submissive, in such a way that they immediately become aware of any 
suppression and learn to shake it off in time, irrevocably and enduringly. It is easier to prevent a neurosis than to 
cure it. It is easier to keep an organism healthy than to free it of disease. Similarly, it is easier to keep a social 
organism free of dictatorial institutions than to eliminate them. It is the task of a genuine democratic guidance to 
make the masses go beyond themselves, as it were; this is only possible, however, if the masses develop, out of 
themselves, social organizations which do not vie with diplomats in political rigmarole, but which formulate and 
express for the masses that which the masses are incapable of expressing [189] because of need, lack of training, 
submissiveness to a Fiihrer idea and the plague of irrationalism. That is, we ascribe to the masses of people the 
full responsibility for all social processes. We demand their responsibility and fight their irresponsibility. We 
blame them, but do not accuse them as one accuses a criminal. 

A genuine new social order does not exhaust itself in the elimination of dictatorial authoritarian social 
institutions, nor in the establishment of new institutions; for these new institutions will inevitably degenerate in 
the authoritarian direction unless, at the same time, the characterological anchoring of authoritarian absolutism in 
the masses of people is eliminated by educational and mental-hygienic measures. It is not a matter of 
revolutionary angels here and reactionary devils there, of avaricious capitalists here and generous workers there. 
If sociology and mass psychology are to function practically as genuine sciences, they will have to rid themselves 
of the political habit of painting things black or white. They must penetrate to the contradictory basic nature of 
people brought up in the authoritarian manner and must see, describe and help to eliminate political reaction in 
the structure and behavior of the working masses. It should go without saying that in so doing these sociologists 
and mass psychologists should not exclude themselves. By now it will have become clear that socialization of 
production alone cannot change human serfdom in the least. A piece of land which one acquires to build a house 
in which to live and work is only a prerequisite for this life and work but by no means this life and work itself. To 
consider the economic process of a society the essence of the biosocial process of human society is the same as 
equating the piece of land and the house with the upbringing of children, with hygiene, work, dance and music. It 
was precisely this economistic concept of life — a concept which Lenin had already sharply criticized — which 
forced the Soviet Union into authoritarian regression. 

Around 1920 it was expected that the economic processes of Sovietism would also change people. True, the 
elimination of illiteracy and the conversion of an agrarian into an industrial [190] country were gigantic 
achievements, but one could not point to them as specific socialist achievements for they were attained in the 
same way, and often better, by capitalist countries. 

The fundamental mass-psychological question after 1917 was: Will the culture resulting from the social 
revolution produce a human society which is fundamentally different from the overthrown Tsarist authoritarian 
order? Will the new socio-economic order reproduce itself in the character structure of people? If so, how? Will 
the new "Soviet people" be free, non-authoritarian, capable of governing themselves rationally, and will they 
transmit these capacities to their children? Will the freedom which is thus developed in the human structure make 
any kind of authoritarian social leadership unnecessary or even impossible? The existence or non-existence of 
authoritarian dictatorial institutions in the Soviet Union was going to be an exact indication of the land of people 

who were developing. 

Understandably enough, the whole world watched the development of the Soviet Union, anxiously or hopefully. 
In general, the attitude toward the Soviet Union was hardly rational. The Soviet system was as uncritically 
defended as it was condemned. Certain groups of intellectuals took the stand that "undoubtedly there were also 
many good things about the Soviet Union." This sounds like a Hitlerite saying that "there are also decent Jews." 
Such emotional judgments were senseless and fruitless. The leaders in the Soviet Union complained, rightly, that 
people did not render practical aid to the Soviet Union, but only quarreled about it. 

The struggle between the rational, forward- striving forces in the social development and the reactionary forces 
of inhibition and regression continued. Thanks to Marx, Engels and Lenin, the economic conditions of a forward 
development were far better recognized than the forces which inhibited it. Nobody mentioned the irrationalism of 
the masses. Thus the development toward freedom, so promising in the beginning, first came to a standstill, and 
then turned into authoritarian degeneration. 

It was more fruitful to understand the mechanism of this [191] regression than to deny it as did the European 
communist parties. By their credulous, religiously fanatic defense of everything taking place in the Soviet Union, 
they deprived themselves of every practical possibility of solving the social difficulties. On the other hand, there 
is no doubt that scientific clarification of the irrational contradictions in human character structure will, in the 
long run, help the development of the Soviet Union far more than does narrow-minded talk about salvation. Such 
a scientific attitude may be unpleasant and painful, but it is, in reality, based far more on friendly feelings than are 
political slogans. This the professionally working Soviet Russians know very well. I may say that at that time the 
concern of the sex-economic physicians and teachers was no less deep than that of the Sovietists. This concern 
was well justified: 

In industry, authoritarian, "responsible" direction took the place of the original "directorship of three" and of the 
democratic production councils. 

In the schools, the experiments in self-government (Dalton plan, etc.) failed and were replaced by the old 
authoritarian school order, even though camouflaged by formal student organizations. 

In the army, the original simple and democratic commander system was replaced by a strict order of ranks. The 
"Marshal of the Soviet Union" was at first an incomprehensible innovation, then it seemed dangerous, too 
reminiscent of "Tsar" or "Kaiser." 

In social sex-economy, there was an increasing return to authoritarian, moralistic concepts and laws. This aspect 
is presented extensively in my book, THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION. 

In interpersonal relationships, there was more and more distrust, cynicism, tactics and insincerity. While in 1929 
the average Russian was still fired with enthusiasm for the Five-year-plan and full of hope for the success of the 
revolution, in 1935 they gave one a different impression: there was evasion, cynicism, disillusionment and that 
certain kind of "sophistication" which is incompatible with a serious social attitude. 

The cultural revolution in the Soviet Union had failed. More [192] than that, the regression in the cultural 
process smothered, in the course of a few years, the enthusiasm and the hope of a whole world. Now, it is not the 
fault of a social leadership if a social regression takes place. But this leadership actively promotes regression if it 

a) proclaims the regression to be a progress; 

b) proclaims itself the savior of the world; and 

c) proceeds with the firing squad against those who remind it of its duties. 

In that case, it will have to give way, sooner or later, to a social leadership which continues to adhere to the 
generally valid principles of social development. 


There were socialist movements and a socialist longing long before there were any scientific insights into the 
social prerequisites of socialism. For thousands of years, the suppressed have been fighting their suppressors. It 

was these struggles which created the science of the suppressed people's striving for freedom, and not the other 
way around, as the fascist character believes. Between 1918 and 1938, that is, in a period of gigantic social 
events, the socialists suffered the most severe defeats. Precisely during a period which should have demonstrated 
the maturity and rationality of a socialist movement for freedom, the workers' movement split up and became 
bureaucratic, and increasingly lost the striving for freedom and truth to which it owed its origin. 

The socialist longing of the millions was a longing for freedom from suppression of every kind. But this longing 
for freedom appeared in the form of a compromise with the fear of responsibility. This fear of social 
responsibility forced the socialist movement in the direction of the state. In the scientific sociology of Marx, 
which describes the economic prerequisites of human freedom, we find nothing about the "state" as a goal of 
socialist freedom. The "socialist state" is an invention of party bureaucrats. It, the state, was now supposed to 
introduce freedom; mind you, [193] not the masses of people, but the state. I shall have to show that not only has 
the socialistic idea of the state nothing to do with the theory of the early socialists, but more than that, it 
represents a falsification of the socialist movement, based on the structural helplessness of the masses longing for 
freedom. In the Soviet Union, the mixture of longing for freedom and structural fear of responsible self- 
government created a form of state which corresponded less and less to the original program of the Communists 
and which finally assumed authoritarian, totalitarian and dictatorial forms. 

Let us try to summarize briefly the basic socialist character of the most important social movements for 

Primitive Christianity is often, and rightly, called "socialistic." Similarly, the slave rebellions of antiquity and 
the peasant wars of the middle ages were considered precursors of the socialist movement of the 19th and 20th 
centuries. They failed because of the lack of industry and international communications as well as because of the 
lack of a sociological theory. "Socialism," according to the sociology of its founders, was conceivable only in 
international terms. A national or even nationalistic socialism (= National Socialism, fascism) is sociological 
nonsense and, in the strict sense of the word, mass deceit. Imagine a physician who discovers a means of fighting 
a certain disease and who calls it "therapeutic serum." Imagine, further, a clever crook who decides to capitalize 
on the people's illness and who invents a poison which creates in them the longing to get well and which he now 
calls "medicine." He would be the National Socialist heir of this physician, just as Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin 
have become the National Socialist heirs of Marx's international socialism. 

The crook who wants to make money from people's illness calls his poison "medicine" because he knows very 
well that he could not sell it if he called it poison. The same applies to the words "social" and "socialist." 

Arbitrary use of terms which have been coined to have a definite connotation results inevitably in confusion. 
The concept of "socialism" was strictly linked with the concept of "international." [194] The theory of socialism 
demanded a certain degree of maturity in the international economy: the imperialistic struggle for markets, natural 
resources and strategic outposts must have assumed the character of greedy wars. The economic chaos must have 
become the most essential factor in the inhibition of the development of social productivity. The chaos must have 
become clear to everyone, from such facts, for example, as that excess goods are destroyed in order to prevent 
price slumps, while at the same time masses of people are starving. The private appropriation of collectively 
produced goods must have come in sharp conflict with the needs of society. International trade must have begun 
to feel the tariff boundaries of national states and the market principle as insurmountable barriers. 

The objective socio-economic prerequisites of an international attitude have grown tremendously since 1918. 
The airplane has bridged spaces which previously maintained cultural differences of thousands of years. 
International traffic increasingly obliterates differences in civilization. An Arab of the 19th century was infinitely 
farther removed from an Englishman of the 19th century than is an Arab from an Englishman today. Capitalistic 
pirates have been more and more held in check. In brief, the socio-economic prerequisites of internationalism 
have grown by leaps and bounds, and this process was speeded up tremendously by the second world war. But 
this economic maturing was not accompanied by a structural and ideological maturing. While internationalism 
continued to grow in the economic field, it came to naught structurally and ideologically. This was shown not 

only in the workers' movement but also in the development of nationalistic dictatorships in Europe: Hitler in 
Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Doriot and Laval in France, Stalin in Russia, Mannerheim in Finland, Horthy in 
Hungary, etc. Nobody could have foreseen this divergence between socio-economic progress and structural 
regression. The degeneration of the workers' internationalism into chauvinistic national socialism was more than a 
collapse of the old freedom movements which had always been international. It was, rather, a novel and gigantic 
outbreak of the emotional plague in [195] the midst of the suppressed people, people who, it had been hoped, 
were one day to produce a new world order. One of the high points of this "national socialist" degeneration was 
the white workers' hatred of colored workers in America, and the loss of any socio-political initiative and 
perspective in so many large trade unions. When top sergeant types get hold of the idea of freedom, freedom is in 
a bad way. In this way, the cruel injustice of old was visited upon the masses who had nothing to sell but their 
working power. In this way, ruthless exploitation by powerful capitalists struck back like a boomerang. Because 
internationalism failed structurally, the National Socialist movements stole its powder, especially by utilizing 
international socialist longing. The international socialist movement, under the leadership of top sergeants rising 
from the ranks of the suppressed, split up into nationally bound, separate and inimical mass movements which 
were seemingly revolutionary. Perversely, some of these strictly nationalistic mass movements became 
international, undoubtedly because of the old international mentality of their adherents. Italian and German 
National Socialism became international fascism. It attracted masses on an international scale, thus becoming, in 
the strict sense of the word, a perverse "nationalistic internationalism." As such, it quashed genuine democratic 
uprisings in Spain and in Austria. The heroic struggle of the true revolutionaries in 1934 and 1936, isolated from 
the masses of people, was a battle of Thermopylae. 

In these facts, the irrationalism in the mass structure as well as that of politics in general was clearly expressed. 
The masses of German working people had opposed the program of a revolutionary internationalism for years, 
but since 1933 they had undergone all the suffering which a true social revolution would have caused, without, 
however, enjoying one single fruit which a true revolution would have brought them. In this way, they had 
deceived themselves. They had become the victim of their own irrationalism, that is, their fear of social 
responsibility. Let us try to understand these seemingly incomprehensible facts as best we can. 

Since the entry of the United States into the second world war, [196] an international and generally human 
attitude has again gained ground in an increasing degree. It is to be feared, however, that there will be still more 
irrational mass reactions and still deadlier social catastrophes unless the responsible sociologists and 
psychologists rid themselves in time of their highfalutin academicism and help by honest clarification. The 
problems of sociology have shifted fundamentally from economics to the structure of the masses. We no longer 
ask whether the economic prerequisites of a work-democratic internationalism have already matured. We are 
confronted by another, gigantic question: Even with fully matured international socio-economic prerequisites, 
what obstacles may present themselves in the path of structural and ideological internationalism? How can the 
social irresponsibility and the craving for authority of the masses be mastered in time? How can one prevent this 
second international war — which, rightly, is called not an economic but an ideological war — from resulting in a 
new, even more brutal and deadly disintegration into nationalistic, chauvinistic, fascist-dictatorial nationalisms? 
Political reaction lives and works within the structure, the thinking and acting of the suppressed masses in the 
form of character armor, fear of responsibility, incapacity for freedom and, last but not least, of endemic crippling 
of biological functioning. These are deadly serious problems. On their solution or non-solution depends the fate 
of the coming centuries. The responsibility of all leading circles is enormous. Political talk and formalities will 
not solve a single one of these gigantic tasks. Our watchword, "Put an end to all politics! Turn to the practical 
tasks of real life!" is not a play on words. Nothing is more impressive than the fact that a world population of two 
billion people is not capable of removing a handful of oppressors and biopathic war murderers. The universal 
longing for freedom is frustrated because there are so many concepts as to how one can best arrive at freedom 
without taking the responsibility for the painful alteration of human structure and its social institutions. 

The anarchists (anarcho-syndicalists) strove for social self-government; but they shrank from taking cognisance 

of the gigan-[197]tic problem of human incapacity for freedom and refuted any guidance of social development. 
They were Utopians and perished in Spain. They only saw the longing for freedom, but they confused this 
longing with the ability really to be free and to be capable of living and working without authoritarian leadership. 
They refuted the party system but were unable to suggest how the enslaved masses could learn to govern their 
lives themselves. Hatred against the state alone will not achieve anything. The problem is deeper and more 

The international Christians preach peace, brotherly love, compassion and mutual aid. Ideologically, they were 
anti-capitalist and thought of human existence in international terms. Thus they had basically a socialist- 
international attitude, and called themselves, as e.g., in Austria, Christian-Socialist. In practice, however, they 
opposed, and still oppose, every step in social development in the very direction which they have made their 
ideal. Catholic Christianity, in particular, has long since shed the revolutionary character of primitive 
Christianity. It asks its millions of adherents to take war as a "fate," as "expiation of sin." Wars are, in fact, the 
result of sins, but in a different way. The Catholics place a peaceful existence in a hereafter, preach the necessity 
of tolerating misery in this world and systematically ruin people's capacity for honestly fighting for their freedom. 
They do not protest when rival churches, say, the Greek Orthodox, are bombed, but they point to God and culture 
when bombs fall on Rome. Catholicism creates structural helplessness in the masses of people so that, when in 
need, they appeal to God instead of their own strength and self-confidence. It makes people structurally afraid of 
pleasure and incapable of pleasure. This is the root of a good deal of human sadism. German Catholics bless 
German arms and American Catholics bless American arms. One and the same God is supposed to lead both 
inimical camps to victory. The irrationality of this is obvious. 

Social Democracy, which followed Bernstein's adaptation of Marx's sociology, also suffered shipwreck on the 
problem of mass structure. Like Christianity and anarchism, it lived on the com-[198]promise of the masses 
between striving for happiness and irresponsibility. Thus it deveolped a vague ideology of an "education for 
socialism" without vigorous, honest work on concrete life tasks. It dreamed of social democracy without 
understanding that the structure of the masses must be basically altered before they are capable of being "social- 
democratic." In practice, it was far from realizing that schools, nurseries, trade schools, etc., must function in a 
self-regulatory manner, that one has to fight, vigorously and objectively, any reactionary tendency, including 
those in one's own camp; that, finally, one has to give the word "freedom" a concrete meaning if one is to 
establish social democracy. It is better to fight fascist reaction as long as one is in power than to develop the 
courage to do so only after one has lost it. In many European countries, social democracy had at its disposal all 
the necessary power to overthrow the old patriarchal power within the people and outside them, the power which 
finally found its bloodiest triumphs in the fascist ideology. 

Social democracy assumed that man — though crippled by thousands of years of patriarchal power — was capable 
of democracy and self-government. It refuted serious scientific endeavor, as of a Freud, to comprehend the 
complicated human structure. Thus it became inevitably dictatorial within its ranks and compromising toward the 
outside. "Compromising" not in the good sense of the word that one has to understand the standpoint of the 
opponent and has to agree with him where he is right, but compromising in the sense of sacrificing principles for 
fear of disputes and in the sense of trying "to be on good terms" with an adversary bent on murder. It was 
Chamberlainism in the camp of socialism. 

Social democracy was ideologically radical and practically conservative, as expressed in such monstrosities as 
"His Royal Highness and Majesty's socialist opposition." Without intending to, it helped fascism, for fascism of 
the masses is nothing but disillusioned radicalism plus nationalistic philistinism. Social democracy suffered 
shipwreck on the contradictory mass structure which it did not understand. 

The bourgeois governments of Europe had a democratic ide-[199]ology, it is true, but in practice they were 
conservative administrative bodies with an aversion to fundamental, scientifically grounded freedom movements. 
The tremendous influence of the capitalist market economy and of profit interests outweighed all other interests. 
The European bourgeois democracies shed their original revolutionary character of the years after '48 much more 

quickly than Christianity had shed its revolutionary character. Measures in the direction of freedom were a kind 
of decorum, a proof of one's "democratic" attitude. None of these governments would have known how the 
submissive masses could have been led out of their condition of uncriticality and craving for authority. They had 
all the power in their hands, but social self-government and self-regulation were a closed book to them. To raise 
the basic question of the sexual problem of the masses would have been impossible in these government circles. 
Calling the Dollfuss administration in Austria an example of democratic government proves utter political 

The capitalists who had emerged from the bourgeois revolution in Europe had great social power. They were 
able to determine who was going to govern. Basically, their action was shortsighted and self-injurious. With their 
power and means, they could have inspired society to unheard-of social achievements. I am not referring here to 
the building of palaces, churches, museums and theaters. I mean the practical realization of their cultural 
concepts. Instead, they drew a sharp line between themselves and the sellers of the commodity working power. 
Secretly, they had only contempt for "the people." They were petty, narrow-minded, cynically contemptuous of 
people, avaricious and often unscrupulous. They helped Hitler to power. They showed themselves completely 
unworthy of the role which society had given them. They misused it, instead of guiding and educating the masses. 
They were not even capable of stemming the dangers which threatened their own cultural system and thus 
became weaker and weaker as a social stratum. To the extent to which they themselves knew work and 
achievement, it is true, they understood the democratic freedom movements. [200] But they did nothing to help 
them. It was pomp and not knowledge which they furthered. The support of the arts and sciences had once been in 
the hands of the feudal lords who were later overthrown by the bourgeois. But the bourgeois capitalists had much 
less of a real interest in the arts and sciences than the old courts had had. Their sons, who had died for the 
democratic ideals on the barricades of '48, derided the democratic ideals from the steps of the universities 
between 1920 and 1930. Later on, they were the vanguard of fascist chauvinism. True, they had fulfilled their 
function of opening up the world economically, but they smothered their own achievement with the institution of 
the tariffs, and they did not know what to do with the internationalism which had developed from their economic 
achievement. They aged rapidly, and as a social stratum became senescent. 

This evaluation of the so-called business leaders is not derived from an ideology. I come myself from these 
circles and know them intimately. I am glad to have extricated myself from their influence. 

From the conservatism of the Social Democrats and the narrow-minded senescence of the capitalists grew 
fascism. It contained, though not practically, but ideologically — and this alone is what mattered to the masses with 
their illusory structure — all the ideals advocated by its precursors. It contained the most brutal political reaction as 
it had devastated human life and possessions in the middle ages. It took into consideration the so-called home 
tradition of the soil, in a mystical and brutal manner which had nothing to do with genuine attachment to the soil. 
It called itself "socialist" and "revolutionary" and thus took over the functions which the socialists had left 
unfulfilled. With the dominance of the economic leaders, it took over capitalism. The achievement of "socialism" 
was now given over to an omnipotent, God-sent Fiihrer. The helplessness of the mass individuals made this 
Fiihrer ideology victorious, after it had been prepared by the authoritarian school, by the church and the 
compulsive family. The "salvation of the nation" by an omnipotent, God-sent Fiihrer [201] corresponded exactly 
to the longing of the masses for salvation. Incapable of thinking of themselves differently, the enslaved masses 
avidly absorbed the theory of the unalterable nature of man, of the "natural division of humanity into the few who 
lead and the many who are led," for now the responsibility was in the hands of a strong man. This Fiihrer 
ideology, whether met with in fascism or anywhere else, is based on the mystic hereditarian concept of the 
unalterable nature of man and on the helplessness, craving for authority, and incapacity for freedom of the 
masses. True, the formula that "people need leadership, discipline and order" has a rational basis in people's 
antisocial structure; but to call this structure unalterable is reactionary. The intentions of fascist ideology were 
honest. If one does not recognize this subjective honesty, one cannot understand fascism and its attraction for the 
masses. Since the problem of human structure had not even been mentioned, the concept of a non-authoritarian, 

self-regulatory society appeared as a Utopian chimera. 
It was precisely at this point that, between about 1850 and 1917, the criticism and constructive policy of the 
founders of the Russian revolution set in. Lenin's standpoint was the following: Social democracy fails; on their 
own, spontaneously, the masses cannot arrive at freedom. They need a leadership which has a hierarchic structure 
and appears authoritarian but which is at the same time intrinsically democratic. In Lenin's communism the 
"dictatorship of the proletariat" is that social form which leads from a society with authoritarian leadership to that 
social order which is non-authoritarian, self-regulating, capable of doing without police enforcement and 
compulsive morality. 

Basically, the Russian revolution of 1917 was a politico-ideological and not a genuine social revolution. It was 
based on political ideas derived from politics and economics and not from scientific knowledge about man. We 
must clearly understand Lenin's sociological theory and his achievement in order to realize what was the gap 
which later led to the authoritarian and totalitarian technique of Russian leadership of the masses. It must be 
remembered that the biopathic nature of the masses was [202] unknown to the founders of the Russian revolution. 
But nobody will expect that social and individual freedom lies, ready-made, in the desk drawers of revolutionary 
thinkers or politicians. Every new social effort is based on the errors and gaps left by earlier sociologists and 
revolutionary leaders. Lenin's theory of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" contained a number of prerequisites 
for genuine social democracy, but far from all. It aimed at a self-governing human society. It contained the insight 
that man of today is incapable of bringing about social revolution and of solving the gigantic social tasks without 
a hierarchic organization. The dictatorship of the proletariat in the sense of Lenin was to be that authority which 
had to be created for the abolition of any kind of authority. Originally, it differed basically from the fascist 
ideology of dictatorship in that it set itself the task of undermining itself that is, of replacing authoritarian 
leadership by social self-regulation. 

Its task was — apart from the establishment of the economic prerequisites of social democracy — the alteration of 
human structure. True, this is not what Lenin called it, but this alteration of structure was an essential and integral 
part of his sociological theory. According to this, the task of the social revolution is not only that of eliminating 
external and actual serfdom but that of making people structurally incapable of serfdom. 

The creation of the economic prerequisites of social democracy, that is, planned economy, proved a small task 
compared with that of bringing about an alteration of character structure in the masses. He who wants to 
understand the victory of fascism and the nationalistic development of the Soviet Union must understand this 
problem in its full import. 

The first act of Lenin's program, the establishment of the "dictatorship of the proletariat," succeeded. An 
administration was established composed entirely of the sons of workers and peasants. Members of the former 
feudal and upper class strata were excluded from it. 

The second and most important act, the replacement of the proletarian administrative apparatus by social self- 
government, [203] failed to come about. Today, 28 years after the victory of the Russian revolution, there is no 
sign of this second, truly democratic act. Instead, there is a dictatorial one-party-system with an authoritarian 
Fiihrer at the head of the Russian population. 

How, one must ask, was this possible? Did Stalin "betray" Lenin's revolution, did he "usurp power"? Let us see 
what happened. 


To seek a socially and historically impossible goal is not in accord with a scientific point of view. The task of 
science is not that of thinking up systems or of chasing dreams of a "better future," but only that of 
comprehending a development as it actually takes place, to recognize its contradictions and to aid those forces 
which drive forward, which solve difficulties and which enable human society to master its conditions of 
existence. The "better future" can come about only if its social and structural prerequisites are given. 

Let us summarize first the concepts of Marx and Engels concerning the development of "Communist society." 

Engels and Lenin on self -regulation. In his most popular work, THE ORIGIN OF THE FAMILY, PRIVATE 
PROPERTY, AND THE STATE, Engels destroyed the belief in the "absolute and eternal state," that is, in our 
context, in the indispensability of authoritarian leadership of society. Based on Lewis Morgan's studies of the 
organization of clan society, he arrived at the following conclusion: The state has not always been in existence. 
There have been societies which functioned without it, which had no trace of state or state power. When society 
split into classes, when the class differences threatened the existence of the total society, then state power 
developed of necessity. Society rapidly approached a stage in the development of production at which the 
existence of classes has not only ceased to be a necessity but becomes an actual hindrance to the development of 
production. "They will disappear as inevitably as they developed at an earlier stage. Along with them, the state 
will inevitably disappear. A [204] society which organizes production anew on the basis of a free and equal 
association of the producers will relegate the whole state machine to where it will then belong: in the museum of 
antiquities, side by side with the spinning wheel and the bronze axe" (italics mine — W.R.). 

In clan society, there was voluntary association and self-regulation of social life 3 ; with the development of 
classes, the state arose, for the purpose of "checking the class differences" and of safeguarding the continued 
existence of society. Soon, and "as a rule," it entered the service of the "most powerful, economically ruling class 
which, with the help of the state also became the political ruling class" and thus acquired new means of 
suppressing and exploiting the suppressed class. What, then, takes the place of the state's authoritarian leadership 
from above and of obedience from below when the social revolution wins? 

Engels' picture of the transition to the new social order was the following: The proletariat "seizes the power of 
the state" and brings the means of production, FOR THE TIME BEING, under state ownership. In so doing, it 
abolishes itself as proletariat, abolishes class differences and, also, "THE STATE AS STATE." Up to that time, 
the state had been the official representation of the total society; this, however, only insofar as it was the state of 
that class which for its time represented society as a whole: in antiquity the slave-owning citizens, in the middle 
ages the feudal nobility, later on the bourgeoisie. Once the state actually becomes the representation of total 
society, it makes itself superfluous. This formulation of Engels becomes understandable when one considers what 
the state had become: from an agent which held the class society together it had become the instrument of the 
economically powerful class for the domination of the economically weaker class. For, continues Engels, as soon 
as there is no longer any class to be kept in suppression, as soon as, together with class rule and the struggle for 
individual existence which was caused by the chaos of production, the resulting excesses and clashes are 

3 Cf. e.g., Malinowski's reports on the work discipline among the matriarchal Trobrianders; discussed in Reich, Der Einbruch der Sexualmoral. 

[205] eliminated, there is nothing left to suppress which would make necessary a special suppressive power such 
as the state. The first act in which the state appears as the representation of the total society, that is, the taking 
over of the means of production in the name of society, is also its last independent act as "state." From then on, 
the "participation of a state power in social conditions . . . becomes superfluous in one field after another and 
THINGS AND OF PRODUCTION PROCESSES. The state is not "abolished," it "withers away." 

Lenin, in STATE AND REVOLUTION, amplified as follows: At first, the capitalist state (state apparatus) is by no 
means merely taken over or changed, it is "smashed"; this apparatus, and the capitalistic police, the capitalistic 
bureaucracy, are replaced by the "power apparatus of the proletariat" and the peasants and other working people 
affiliated with it. This apparatus is still a suppressive apparatus, but now there is no longer a majority of workers 
suppressed by a minority of capital owners, but, conversely, the minority of the previous rulers is kept in check 
by the majority of working people. This is what is called the "dictatorship of the proletariat." 

The "withering away of the state" as described by Engels, then, is preceded by the abolition of the capitalistic 
and the establishment of the "revolutionary proletarian state apparatus." Lenin described in some detail why this 

transition in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat is "necessary" and "indispensable," and why an 
immediate realization of a non- authoritarian, free society and "true social democracy" is not possible. Engels as 
well as Lenin criticized the social-democratic slogan of "the people's free state" as an empty phrase. The 
dictatorship of the proletariat serves as a transition from the previous form of society to the striven-for 
"communistic" form. The character of the "transition phase" can be understood only from the final goals toward 
which society strives; these goals, in turn, can be realized only insofar as they have already visibly developed 
within the old society. Such final goals in the organization of communist [206] society are, among others, 
"voluntary respect" for the rules of social living; the establishment of a free "community" instead of the state 
(including the proletarian) as soon as the latter has fulfilled its function; "self-government" of schools, factories, 
transportation organizations, etc., in brief, the organization of a "new generation" which, "grown up under new, 
free social conditions, will be capable of throwing off all of the state machinery . . . including the democratic- 
republican" (Engels). To the extent to which the state "withers away," there emerges from it the "free 
organization" in which, as Marx stated, "the free development of each" becomes the basis of the "free 
development of all." 

Here, two problems arose which were of the greatest significance for the Soviet Union: 

a) The "organization of a free generation in a free, self-governing community" cannot be "created." Rather, it 
must grow out of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" — in the form of the "withering away of the state" — just as 
the "dictatorship of the proletariat," as a transitory form of state, develops out of the dictatorship of the 
bourgeoisie, including the "democratic." Were the "withering away of the state" and the gradually maturing free, 
self-governing community present in the Soviet Union between 1930 and 1944? 

b) If so, what did this "withering away of the state" look like, and what did the "development of the new 
generation" concretely and practically consist of? If not, why did the state not wither away, and what was the 
relationship between the forces which maintained the existence of the "proletarian state" and the forces which 
represented its withering away? What held up the withering away of the state? 

By 1935, this had become a burning question which no longer could be overlooked: Is the state in the process of 
withering away in the Soviet Union? If not, why not? 

The essence of work democracy, in contradistinction to the authoritarian order of the state, is social self- 
regulation. It goes without saying that a society which is to consist of "free people," [207] which is to form a 
"free community" and which is to govern itself, that is, to be "self-regulatory," cannot suddenly be created by 
decrees, but must be made to develop in an organic manner. It can create the prerequisites of the striven-for 
conditions organically only after having created the necessary freedom of movement, that is, after having freed 
itself from those influences which conflict with these conditions. The first prerequisite is the knowledge of the 
natural organization of work, of the biological and social prerequisites of work democracy. The founders of 
socialism lacked the knowledge of the biological prerequisites. The social prerequisites, on tie other hand, had to 
do with an era (1840 to about 1920) in which there was only capitalistic private economy on the one hand and 
masses of wage laborers on the other. There was at that time as yet no state-minded middle class of any weight, 
there was no development in the direction of state capitalism, and there were no masses who, in closed 
reactionary ranks, led "national socialism" to victory. Thus, the sociological picture corresponded to the times of 
1850, and not of 1940. 

In the writings of Engels, the difference between "seizure of power by the proletariat," that is, the establishment 
of the "proletarian state, " and the "cessation of the state" was not worked out as clearly as it was by Lenin. 
Understandably enough, for unlike Lenin, Engels was not confronted with the practical task of making a sharp 

When the seizure of power was at hand, in 1917, Lenin had to ascribe to the "transition period" a greater 
significance than Engels; Lenin more clearly defined the tasks of this period. To begin with, he demanded that the 
institution of the "bourgeois" state be replaced by the proletarian state, that is, by a state government of a 
"fundamentally different kind. " What was fundamentally different in the proletarian state? With the abolition of 

the bourgeois state, Lenin said, "democracy, established as fully and consistently as is conceivable," is 
transformed from bourgeois democracy into proletarian democracy; the state as a special institution for the 
suppression of a certain class is to be made into an institution "which really no longer is a state." When [208] the 
majority of the people suppress their suppressors, a special suppressive institution is no longer necessary. In other 
words, what Lenin specifically meant by the "withering away of the state" was that the people would actually, not 
seemingly or formally, determine production, distribution, social rules, increase of population, education, love 
life, relationship with other nations, etc. "In the place of special institutions," Lenin wrote, "in the place of a 
privileged minority (privileged officials, general staff of a standing army) the majority of people can do these 
things themselves, and the greater the participation of the people as a whole in the functions of state power, the 
less they are in need of this power." 

Lenin, then, by no means equated "state" and "rule of the bourgeoisie" or else he could not have spoken of a 
"state" after the "overthrow of the bourgeoisie." By "state" was meant the sum total of those "institutions" which 
previously had been in the service of the ruling class, the moneyed bourgeoisie, but which now disappeared from 
their position "above society" to the same extent to which the majority of the people took over the administration 
of society ("self-government"). The withering away of the state, then, is to be measured by the degree of the 
gradual elimination of the organizations above society and by the extent of the inclusion of the majority of the 
people in its administration, that is, self-regulation of society. "The corrupt and rotten parliamentarism of 
bourgeois society," writes Lenin, "is replaced in the Commune by institutions in which freedom of opinion and 
discussion does not degenerate into deception, for the parliamentarians must themselves work, must themselves 
execute their own laws, must themselves verify their results in actual life, must themselves be directly responsible 
to their electorate. Representative institutions remain, but parliamentarism as a special system, as a division of 
labor between the legislative and the executive functions, as a privileged position for the deputies, no longer 
exists. Without representative bodies we cannot imagine democracy, not even proletarian democracy; but we can 
and must think of democracy without parliamentarism, if criticism [209] of bourgeois society is not a mere empty 
phrase for us, if the desire to overthrow the rule of the bourgeoisie is our serious and sincere desire, and not a 
mere "election slogan" for catching workers' votes ..." 

A sharp distinction is being made between "representative institutions" and "parliaments." The former are 
affirmed, the latter refuted. Nothing is said about what and how these bodies represent. We shall see later that 
this gap in Lenin's theory of the state made it possible for "Stalinism" to establish its state power. 

The representative bodies, called "Soviets," originated from the workers', peasants' and soldiers' councils, were 
to take over the function of the bourgeois parliaments, by changing them from "chatter clubs" (Marx) into 
working bodies. This change in the character of the representative body already implies a change in the 
representatives themselves, from "chatterers" to working functionaries responsible to the people. On the other 
hand, they are not lasting institutions, but they too, continue to change to the same degree to which the majority 
of the people participate in the functions of social administration; the self-regulation of society becomes the more 
complete the more people participate; this means, at the same time, the less the Soviets are elected 
"representatives," the more determining and executive functions are taken over by the total population. For until 
then the Soviets are still bodies which are more or less separate from the total society, even though originated 
from it. According to Lenin, the proletarian representative bodies serve a transitory function; they are thought of 
as mediators between a still necessary, still existing, but already withering "proletarian state power" and a 
developing but not yet fully developed self-regulation of society. The Soviets may either become more and more 
identical with the total society which develops in the direction of self-regulation, or they may develop into mere 
appendages and executive organs of the proletarian state power. They act between two forces: a power which is 
still state power, and a new social system of self -regulation. What, then, decides whether the Soviets fulfil their 
forward-striving, revolutionary function, or whether [210] they become empty, purely formalistic organs of a 
state administration? Obviously, the following factors: 

1. Whether the proletarian state power remains true to its function of gradually eliminating itself; 

2. Whether the Soviets consider themselves not merely as executive organs of proletarian state power but as that 
highly responsible institution which transfers the function of social direction more and more from proletarian 
state power to total society; 

3. Whether the mass individuals succeed in their task of increasingly taking over the functions of the still 
existing state apparatus as well as those of the Soviets to the extent to which they are merely the "representatives" 
of the masses. 

The third point is decisive, for on its fulfilment depended the "withering away of the state" as well as the taking 
over of the functions of the Soviets by the masses of the working people. 

The dictatorship of the proletariat, then, was not meant to be a permanent institution, but a process beginning 
with the abolition of the authoritarian state apparatus and establishment of the proletarian state, and ending in 
total self-government, in self-regulation of society. 

The function and development of the Soviets was the safest index for an evaluation of the social process. This 
process could not remain hidden behind any kind of illusion if one paid attention to the following: It did not 
matter whether there was a 90% voters' participation instead of the previous 60%; what matters is whether the 
Soviet voters (not Soviet representatives) actually took over the social process to an increasing degree. "90% 
participation" was no proof of the increasing social self-regulation for no other reason than that it conveys nothing 
concerning the content of the activity of the masses. In addition, it is not specific to the Soviet system, for even in 
bourgeois democracies, even in the fascist "plebiscites," there was 90% and more participation. Work democracy 
judges the maturity of a society not according to the quantity of the votes but according to the actual, tangible 
content of its social activities. 

[211] It is, then, again a matter of the cardinal question of any social order: What goes on in the masses of 
people, how do they experience the social process of which they are the subjects? Does the working population 
become capable of bringing about the withering away of the authoritarian state which is above society and 
against it, and of taking over its functions, that is, of organically developing social self-regulation? 

Lenin obviously had this question in mind when he pointed out that there was no question of a sudden and 
general elimination of bureaucracy but that, instead, a new official apparatus would have to be built which 
"gradually makes any bureaucracy unnecessary and eliminates it." "This is no Utopia," writes Lenin, "it is the 
experience of the commune, the immediate task of the revolutionary proletariat." He did not say why he believed 
the abolition of bureaucracy not to be a Utopia, or how life without officials, without direction "from above" was 
possible or, more, the "immediate task of the revolutionary proletariat." 

This emphasis on the part of Lenin can be understood only if one keeps in mind the apparently ineradicable 
belief in the immaturity of the masses, in their incapacity of doing without authoritarian leadership. Such things 
as "self-government," "self-regulation," "discipline without authority" only evoked condescending smiles or 
derision in the face of fascism. "Anarchists' dreams, Utopias, chimeras," it was said. More, those who said so 
could point to the Soviet Union, to Stalin's statement that there could be no question of the abolition of the state, 
that, rather, the power of the proletarian state had to be strengthened and extended. Had Lenin been wrong after 
all? Was man forever going to be a serf who refused to work without authority and compulsion, who only wanted 
to "indulge in his pleasures and be lazy"? Was every undertaking based on a different belief nothing but a waste 
of time? If so, the leadership of the Soviet Union could be expected to provide an official correction of Lenin; it 
would have to show that Lenin was wrong when he wrote: 

We are not Utopians. We do not indulge in "dreams" of how best to [212] do away immediately with all administration, with all 
subordination. These Anarchist dreams, based upon a lack of understanding of the task of proletarian dictatorship, are basically 
foreign to Marxism, and, as a matter of fact, they serve only to put off the Socialist revolution until human nature is different. No, we 
want the Socialist revolution with human nature as it is now, with human nature that cannot do without subordination, control, 
"managers and bookkeepers." But if there be subordination, it must be to the armed vanguard of all the exploited and the 
laboring — to the proletariat. The specific "commanding" methods of the state officials can and must begin to be 
replaced — immediately, within twenty-four hours — by the simple functions of "managers" and bookkeepers, functions which are 

now already within the capacity of the average city dweller and can well be performed for "workingmen's wages." Let us organize 
large-scale production, starting from what capitalism has already created; we workers ourselves, relying on our own experience as 
workers, establishing a strict, iron discipline, supported by the state power of the armed workers, shall reduce the role of the state 
officials to that of simply carrying out our instructions as responsible, moderately paid "managers" (of course, with technical 
knowledge of all sorts, types and degrees). This is our proletarian task, with this we can and must begin when carrying through a 
proletarian revolution. Such a beginning, on the basis of large-scale production, of itself leads to the gradual "withering away" of all 
bureaucracy, to the gradual creation of a new order, an order without quotation marks, an order which has nothing to do with wage 
slavery [italics mine. — W.R.], an order in which the more and more simplified functions of control and accounting will be performed 
by each in turn, will then become a habit, and will finally die out as special functions of a special stratum of the population. 

Lenin overlooked the dangers of the new state officialdom. He seemed to believe that the officials from the 
proletariat would not misuse their power but would lead the workers to independence. He overlooked the abysmal 
biopathy of human structure, because he did not know it. 

A fact which has been given scant attention in sociological literature is the fact that Lenin, in his main work on 
the revolution, put the main emphasis not on the "overthrow of the bour-[213]geoisie" but on the tasks arising 
afterwards: the substitution of the proletarian state for the capitalist state apparatus and the substitution of the self- 
regulation of society for the dictatorship of the proletariat. Following the Soviet literature after 1937, one found 
that what was in the center of Soviet endeavors was not the weakening but the strengthening of the proletarian 
state apparatus. The necessity of its eventual replacement by self -regulation was no longer even mentioned. This 
point is of decisive significance for an understanding of the Soviet Union. It is not without reason that it assumes 
such an important place in Lenin's main work on the state. It is and remains the life system of any genuine social 
democracy. No politician mentions it. 



Russian "social democracy" under Lenin grew out of Russian despotism. The program of the Communist Party 
of the Soviet Union of 1919, two years after the revolution, shows the true democratic character of its endeavors. 
It demands a state power which is to prevent a return of despotism and which is to safeguard the establishment of 
free self-government of the masses. But in no way does it hint at the nature of people's incapacity for freedom, at 
their biopathic fear of freedom or their biopathic sexual structure. The sex-revolutionary laws of 1917 to 1920 
were in the right direction, that of a recognition of human biological functioning. But they remained bogged 
down in legal formalism, as I have shown in my book, THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION. It is at this point that the 
alteration of human structure suffered shipwreck, and with it the fulfilment of the democratic program. This 
catastrophic failure of a gigantic social endeavor should be a lesson to any new democratic-revolutionary 
movement: No freedom program has any chance of success without an alteration of human sexual structure. 

The program of the Communist party was the following: 4 

4 Italics, throughout, are mine. Cf. also the principle of local self-government in the United States after the emancipation of 1776. 

[214] 1. The bourgeois republics, even in their most democratic forms . . . inevitably remained a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, an 
apparatus for the exploitation and suppression of the great majority of working people by a handful of capitalists; this for the simple 
reason that the private ownership of the means of production continued to exist. In contradistinction, the proletarian or Soviet 
democracy changed the mass organization precisely of the classes which were suppressed by capitalism, the proletarians and poor 
peasants, the semi-proletarians, that is, the overwhelming majority of the population, making them the only basis of the total state 
apparatus, the local as well as the central, and from the bottom up. It is precisely in this manner that the Soviet state, to an 
incomparably greater extent than was possible anywhere else, made local and provincial self-government, without any 
superimposed authority, a reality. 

The task of the party is to work indefatigably on the complete establishment of this highest type of democracy, which, in order to 
function properly, requires constant raising of the cultural level, of the organization and of the independence of the masses. 

2. In contradistinction to bourgeois democracy, which obfuscates the class character of its state, the Soviets openly acknowledge 
that every state, inevitably, must have a class character 5 as long as the division of society into classes, and with that any state power, 
has not definitely disappeared. It is inherent in the Soviet state to suppress the resistance of the exploiters; since the Soviet 
constitution believes that every freedom is a fraud if it is at variance with the liberation of work from the pressure of capital, it does 
not shrink from depriving the exploiters of political rights. 

The task of the party of the proletariat is to suppress incessantly the resistance of the exploiters, to fight, ideologically, the deeply- 
rooted prejudices concerning the absolute character of the bourgeois rights and freedoms, and to make clear that the deprivation of 
political rights and any restriction of freedom are nothing but transitory means of fighting the attempts of the exploiters to maintain 
their privileges or to re-establish them. To the extent to which the objective possibilities 

5 This important democratic point of view was lost sight of later on. The emphasis came to be on the "state," without the fact being mentioned that "class 
society" is an important characteristic of any state apparatus. For if there were no classes, ruling and suppressed, there would also be no state apparatus, but a 
simple apparatus of social administration. 

[215] of exploitation disappear will also the necessity of these transitory measures disappear, and the party will strive for their 
reduction and complete abolition. 

3. Bourgeois democracy limited itself to extending, in a formal way, the political rights and freedoms, such as the freedom of 
assembly and freedom of the press, to all citizens. In reality, however, administrative policy and, even to a greater extent, the 
economic slavery of the workers under bourgeois democracy made it impossible for the people to enjoy these rights and freedoms to 
any considerable extent. 

In contradistinction, proletarian democracy replaces the formal proclamation of rights and freedoms by their actual establishment, 
and primarily for those classes who were suppressed by capitalism, that is, the proletariat and the peasantry. To that end, the Soviets 
expropriate printing establishments, paper stocks, etc., and put them at the exclusive disposal of the workers and their organizations. 

The task of the Communist party of the Soviet Union is to provide democratic rights and freedoms to ever larger masses of working 
people and to provide ever increasing economic possibilities for these rights and freedoms. 

4. Bourgeois democracy, for centuries, proclaimed the equality of all people, regardless of sex, religion, race and nationality, but 
capitalism everywhere prevented this equality from becoming a reality, and in its imperialistic stage led to an acute intensification of 
the suppression of nationalities and races. Only because the power of the Soviets is the power of the working people, did it succeed, 
for the first time in the history of world, in making this equality a reality, in all fields, including the eradication of the last traces of 
inequality between man and woman in the field of marriage and family legislation. 

The task of the party is at present primarily an educational one; all traces of the previous inequality and previous prejudice, 
particularly among the backward strata of the proletariat and the peasantry, must be definitively eradicated. 

The party, not content with a formal equality of the woman, strives to free her from the burdens of the obsolete, domestic economy 
by replacing it by communes, public eating places, central laundries, nurseries, etc. 

5. The Soviet power secures for the working masses, to an incomparably higher degree than was possible under bourgeois 
democracy and parliamentarism, the possibility of electing and recalling deputies [2 1 6] in a manner most easily accessible to 
workers and peasants; at the same time, it eliminates the negative aspects of parliamentarism, especially the separation of legislative 
and executive power, and the lack of any bonds between the representative bodies and the masses. 

The Soviet state takes the state apparatus to the people also by the fact that the election unit and the cell of the state is not the 
district of domicile, but the unit of production (mine, factory, etc.). 

It is the task of the party to bring about a still closer cooperation between the organs of power and the masses of workers by an ever 
stricter and more complete realization of democracy by the action of the masses, and particularly by the introduction of 
responsibility and obligatory accounting of officials concerning their activities. 

6. While bourgeois democracy — its protestations to the contrary notwithstanding — made the army a tool of the ruling class and 
separated the army from the working people, setting it over against them, and made the exercise of their political rights difficult or 
impossible to the soldiers, the Soviets, on the other hand, combine the workers and soldiers on the basis of complete equality and 
common interests. It is the task of the part to defend and further develop this unity of the workers and soldiers in the Soviets, and to 
consolidate the bonds between the armed forces and the organizations of the proletariat. 

7. The urban industrial proletariat, being the most concentrated, well-informed and battle-tested part of the working masses, has had 
a leading role in the whole revolution, as was shown in the development of the Soviets as well as in the whole course of their 
development into government organs. This leading role is reflected in the Soviet constitution in certain privileges which are granted 
the industrial proletariat as compared with the less organized petit-bourgeois masses of the country. The Communist party of the 
Soviet Union has to make clear the fact that these privileges, which are due to the difficulties of socialist organization in the open 
country, are of a transitory nature. 

8. It was only due to the Soviet organization of the state that the proletarian revolution was capable of smashing and completely 

destroying the old bourgeois state machinery, the state apparatus of officials and judges. However, the still relatively low cultural 
level of the broad masses, 6 the lack of administrative experience on the part of 

6 The "still relatively low cultural level of the broad masses" is a rationalistic concept of the biopathic human structure; it does in no way comprehend the fact 
that serfdom is deeply anchored physiologically, that it has become second nature, so that the masses go on reproducing their own suppression. 

[217] individuals elected to posts of high responsibility, the necessity of calling on professionals of the old school in difficult 
situations, and the call into the army of the most highly developed stratum of the urban workers, have led to a partial redevelopment 
of bureaucracy within the Soviet order. 1 

For the complete eradication of bureaucracy, the Communist party of the Soviet Union, which wages the most decisive fight 
against this evil, advocates the following means: 

(1) Obligatory participation of every member of a Soviet in some aspect of the work of government administration. 

(2) Consistent rotation of the Soviet members in this work, so that it gradually extends to all branches of administration. 

(3) Gradual participation of the total working population in state administration. 

The complete realization of all these measures which represents a further step on the path on which the Paris Commune set out, 
and a simplification of the administrative functions with a simultaneous raising of the cultural level of the workers, lead to the 
abolition of state power. 

The following points of the program characterize Soviet democracy: 

1. Local and provincial self-government, without any superimposed authority. 

2. Independence of the masses. 

3. Deprivation of political rights and restriction of freedom as a transitory means. 

4. Not formal but factual granting of all rights and freedoms to all non-capitalistic classes. 

5. Simple, direct vote. 

6. The right to elect and recall the deputies. 

7. Voting not according to districts of domicile but according to units of production. 

8. Responsibility of officials and obligatory accounting to the Soviets of workers and peasants. 

7 Here, the close connection between bureaucracy and human incapacity for freedom is obvious. 

[218] 9. Rotation of the Soviet members in the various branches of administration. 

10. Gradual inclusion of the total working population in the state administration. 

11. Simplification of administrative functions. 

12. Abolition of state power. 

In these historically decisive principles, one thought fights for clarification: that of simplifying social living in a 
factual manner. It remains bogged down, however, in formal political thinking. The nature of state politics itself 
is not yet clarified. True, the masses are given the framework of freedom, but they are as yet not confronted with 
factual social tasks. The fact is not mentioned that the masses of people cannot take over the state and (later on) 
the social administration, such as they are today. For the state-political thinking of today was originally created, 
by the first hierarchic representatives of the state, against the masses. No matter how much we talk about 
"democracy," politically we are still bogged down in the thought systems of the old Greek and Roman slave 
states. If social self-government is to become possible, more is needed than changing the form of the state. Social 
existence and its guidance must be altered according to the tasks and needs of the masses of people. Social self- 
regulation must gradually replace the state apparatus or take over its rational function. 


Now, after the 8th Party Day of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had founded the Soviet democracy in 
1919, the 7th Soviet Congress in January, 1935, proclaimed the "introduction of Soviet democracy." What was 
the meaning of this nonsense? Let us try to clarify this process by an illustration: 

Let us say that a law student, in the course of his studies, realizes that antisocial acts are to be considered not 
crimes but diseases, that, consequently, they should not be punished but prevented. He gives up the study of law 
and turns to the study of medicine. He replaces formal ethical by factual and practical activities. He [219] realizes 
further that in his medical work he will have to use many non-medical measures. For example, he would like to 
give up the strait-jacket as a method of treatment for mental patients and to replace it by preventive educational 
measures. Yet, he is forced to use the strait-jacket willy-nilly: there are too many mental patients to be treated and 
he is forced still to use old, poor methods; but while he uses them, he always does so with the intention of 
replacing them by better methods if and when possible. In the course of the years, the task becomes too much for 
him; too little is known about mental diseases, and there are too many of them; education creates them by the 
thousands every day. As a physician, he has to protect society against the mental diseases. He is incapable of 
translating his good intentions into practice, and is forced to go back to old methods which, years ago, he 
condemned and tried to replace. He uses the strait-jacket more and more; his plans for education and prevention 
fail; thus he goes back to old measures. The treatment of criminals as patients failed, so he has them imprisoned 
again. But he does not admit his failure, either to himself or to others. He does not have the courage, perhaps he 
does not even know it himself. But now he proclaims the following nonsense: "The introduction of strait-jackets 
and prisons for criminals and mental patients represents an enormous advance in the application of medicine. It is 
the true art of medicine, the fulfilment of my original goal." 

This illustration applies, down to the smallest detail, to the "introduction of Soviet democracy" 16 years after the 
"introduction of Soviet democracy." It is understandable only in the light of Lenin's basic concept of "social 
democracy" and the "abolition of the state." The reason given by the Soviet government for this act is not 
important here. But a quotation from it (as reported in Rundschau, 1935, No.7) will show that this act invalidated 
Lenin's concept of social democracy: 

The dictatorship of the proletariat has always been the only real power of the people. Thus far, it has successfully fulfilled its two 
main tasks: the destruction of the exploiters as a class together with their [220] expropriation and suppression, and the socialist 
education of the masses. The proletarian dictatorship continues to exist, unweakened . . . 

To state that the class of exploiters has been destroyed and that the socialist education of the masses has 
succeeded, and to state in the same breath that the dictatorship continues to exist, unweakened, is complete 
nonsense. What does the dictatorship continue for if the exploiters are destroyed and the masses are already 
educated in self-government? Such nonsense in formulation hides a meaning which is only too true: the 
dictatorship continues, directed not against the exploiters of old, but against the masses themselves. Further: 

This higher socialist phase of the alliance between workers and peasants gives to the dictatorship of the proletariat a new, higher 
content, makes it the democracy of the working people. This new content calls for new forms . . . This expression is the transition to 
equal, direct and secret balloting for the workers. 

In another place, Soviet democracy is called the "most democratic" democracy in the world! To say that the 
dictatorship of the proletariat (which gradually should have given way to self-regulation of the masses) coexists 
with the "most democratic" democracy is sociological nonsense, is confusion of all sociological concepts. It is a 
matter here exclusively of the central question as to whether the cardinal goal of the social revolution of 1917 has 
actually been achieved: abolition of the state and establishment of social self -regulation. If so, then there must be 
an essential difference between the "Soviet democracy" of 1935 and the "dictatorship of the proletariat" of 1919 
on the one hand and the bourgeois parliamentary democracies, say, of England or America, on the other hand. 

There is talk of "further democratization" of the Soviet system. How is this to be done? We thought that the 
"dictatorship of the proletariat" was, in the meaning of its founders as well as actually, completely identical with 
social democracy (= proletarian democracy). If, however, the dictatorship of the proletariat is [221] identical with 
social democracy, then a Soviet democracy cannot be introduced 16 years after the establishment of social 

democracy, nor can there be any "further democratization." The "introduction of democracy," clearly, can mean 
only that previously there was no social democracy, and that the dictatorship of the proletariat was not identical 
with social democracy. It is also confusing to say that social democracy is the "most democratic" system. Is 
bourgeois democracy only "a little" and social democracy "more" democratic? What does that mean, "a little" and 
"more"? Bourgeois-parliamentary democracy is in reality a formal democracy; the masses elect their 
representatives, but they do not govern themselves through their work organizations. The social democracy of 
Lenin was to be a qualitatively different form of social regulation, and not merely a quantitative improvement of 
formal parliamentarism. It was to replace the proletarian state dictatorship by factual and practical self- 
government of the working people. The simultaneous existence of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" and of self- 
government of the working masses is impossible; as a demand, it is a confusing nonsense. In reality, the 
dictatorship of the party bureaucracy rules over the masses under the guise of a formal- democratic 

We should not forget for a moment that Hitler always appealed to the justified hatred of the masses against sham 
democracy and the parliamentary system, and with what success! After such political manoeuvres of the Russian 
communists, the "unity of Marxism and parliamentary bourgeois liberalism" became a potent slogan of fascism. 
Around 1935 the hopes held by the masses of the world in the Soviet Union dwindled more and more. Actual 
problems cannot be solved with political illusions. One has to have the courage to call difficulties by their names. 
One cannot, with impunity, confuse once clarified social concepts. 

The "introduction of Soviet democracy" emphasizes the participation of the masses in government, the influence 
of factories on government, the fact that the people's commissariats "also contain" councils of the workers and 
peasants. But that is not the question; what matters is the following: 

[222] 1 . What does the participation of the masses in government actually look like? Is this participation an 
increasing taking over of the administrative functions, as demanded by social democracy? 

2. Formal influence of a factory on a government is not self-government. Does the government rule the factory, 
or the factory the government? 

3. Councils "contained in" the people's commissariats mean appendages or, at best, executive organs of the 
commissariats, while Lenin's demand was the following: Replacement of all bureaucratic government functions 
by the Soviets which increasingly spread through the masses. 

4. "Introduction" of Soviet democracy and simultaneous "strengthening" of the dictatorship of the proletariat 
means clearly the relinquishing of the goal that, in continued development, the proletarian state and the 
proletarian dictatorship must wither away. 

The introduction of "Soviet democracy" 16 years after the introduction of the Soviet democracy can hardly have 
any other meaning than this: The transition from authoritarian state government to self-government of society 
could not be achieved. It failed because the biopathic structure of the masses and the means of altering this 
structure were not recognized. True, the expropriation and suppression of individual capitalists succeeded, but the 
education of the masses to make them capable of bringing about the withering away of the state above them, and 
of taking over its functions, did not succeed. For this reason, social democracy, as it began to develop in the early 
years of the revolution, gradually and inevitably withered away. For this reason also, the state apparatus, which 
was not replaced, had to be strengthened again, in order to safeguard the existence of society. The "introduction 
of universal suffrage" in 1935 meant nothing but a shifting of the political emphasis to the mass of kolchos 
peasants and the reintroduction of formal democracy, of parliamentary sham rights granted by an increasingly 
powerful bureaucratic state apparatus to the masses who were unable to destroy [223] this apparatus and to learn 
to govern themselves. There is not any indication which points to the slightest intention of ever giving the 
working masses access to the administration of society. To teach reading and writing and knowledge of engines, 
and to introduce sanitary measures, is necessary, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with social self-government. 
All such things Hitler did also. 

The development of Soviet society, then, is characterized by the formation of a new, autonomous state apparatus 

which has become strong enough to give the masses, without danger to itself, the illusion of freedom, precisely as 
did Hitler's National Socialism. The "introduction of Soviet democracy" was not progress, but one of the many 
regressions to old forms of social living. What guarantees are there that the Soviet state apparatus will make 
itself superfluous by educating the masses in self-government? There is no use denying the fact: the Russian 
revolution met an obstacle which it did not recognize and consequently covered up with illusions. THIS 
OBSTACLE WAS THE BIOPATHIC HUMAN STRUCTURE. It would be senseless to "blame" Stalin or 
anybody else; Stalin was only a tool of the circumstances. The process of social development looks easy only on 
paper. In hard reality, it keeps coming up against new, unrecognized difficulties; there are regressions and 
catastrophes; one has to learn to know and master them. One reproach, however, remains: A promising social 
plan must again and again be examined honestly. One must find out honestly whether the plan is wrong or 
whether something was overlooked in the development; then one can consciously change and improve the plan 
and master the development better. One can overcome the inhibition of the development toward freedom by 
mobilizing the thinking of the people. But political obfuscation of the masses with illusions is a social crime. 
When an honest mass leader finds himself in a blind alley he resigns. If nobody better can be found, he explains 
the difficulties honestly to the community, and a solution may be found after all, be it through the course of 
events, be it through the discoveries of individuals. But the politician is afraid of such honesty. 

[224] From the standpoint of the international workers' movement, the reproach must be made that its struggle 
for a genuine democracy was made so much more difficult. Those seemed to be right who had always said, "The 
dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship like any other. Now this is obvious enough, or why should they 
have to 'introduce democracy' now?" An objective regression in the course of a development is often necessary 
and must be borne; but to camouflage such a regression with illusions by way of fascist methods of lying is 
unjustifiable. Imagine that Lenin, at the time of the introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1923 had said: 
"We have progressed from a lower phase of the proletarian dictatorship to a higher phase. The introduction of the 
NEP means a tremendous step forward on the path to communism." Such a statement would have immediately 
undermined confidence in Soviet leadership. What Lenin really said was the following: "It is sad and cruel, but 
for the time being nothing else can be done. The economy of war communism has brought about unforeseen 
difficulties. We must take a step backward in order to go forward again all the more safely. We give private 
commerce some leeway in order to manage at all, but we know very well what we are doing." 

At the time of the "introduction of Soviet democracy" such matter-of-course insight and frankness were missing. 
At that time, around 1935, it was more necessary than ever: it would have gained millions of friends all over the 
world; it would have made people think; it might even have prevented the pact with Hitler. As it was, Lenin's 
social democracy turned into the new Russian nationalism. The Leningrad Krasnaya gazeta, the central organ of 
the Russian bolsheviks, wrote on February 4, 1935: 

All our love, our faith, our strength, our heart, our heroism, our life — all is for you, take it, great Stalin, everything is yours, leader 
of the great homeland. Command your sons, they can move in the air and under the earth, in the water and in the stratosphere [as if 
the sons of the "great German homeland" or of the United States could not do that! — W.R.]. People of all times and nations will call 
your name the most magnificent, wisest and most beautiful. Your name is written on [225] every factory and machine, on every 
piece of ground, in every heart. When my beloved wife gives me a child, the first word I shall teach him will be: Stalin. 

If anybody had predicted such a thing in 1918, he would have been called crazy. The Pravda of March 19, 1935, 
published an article, "Soviet patriotism," in which "socialist patriotism" begins to vie with "fascist patriotism": 

Soviet patriotism — the flaming feeling of infinite love, unconditional submission to one's own land, of deepest responsibility for its 
fate and its defense — rises mightily from the depth of our people. Never before has the heroic fight for one's own land risen to the 
skies as with us. The whole inimitable and miraculous history of the revolutionary movement in Russia, the whole history of the 
Soviet Union, shows what the workers are capable of when it is a matter of their home soil. In the illegal work, on the barricades, in 
the rush of Budenny's mounted army, in the rifle fire of the army of the revolution, in the humming of the factories of the socialist 
industry, in the work rhythm of the towns and villages, in the work of the communist party, sounds the great, immortal song of our 

dear, liberated and new land. 

The Soviet land nurtured and made great by Lenin and Stalin! How it is caressed by the rays of the spring which came with the 
October revolution! The rivers rose, all the forces of the working people started moving, to show new ways to historical 
development through the greatness of the Soviet Union, the splendor of its glory and might. The sprouts of a well-to-do life and of a 
socialist culture are shooting up. We lift the red banner of communism to new heights, far up into the blue distances. 

Soviet patriotism is the love of our people for the land which was taken from the capitalists and landowners with sword and blood; 
it is the love for the wonderful life which our great people have created; it is the mighty guard in the West and the East; it is the 
surrender to the great cultural heritage of human genius which has come to flower in our land and only in our land [italics 
mine. — W.R.]. Is it surprising, then, that foreigners come to the borders of the Soviet Union, people with a different education, to 
bow deeply to the refuge of culture, the nation of the Red Flag? 

Soviet Union — spring of humanity! The name of Moscow sounds to [226] the workers, the peasants, to all honest and cultured 
people of the whole world like a storm bell and the hope for a bright future, the victory over fascist barbarism ... In our socialist 
country, the interests of the people are inseparable from the interests of the country and its government. The source of Soviet 
patriotism lies in the fact that the people, under the leadership of the communist party, shape their own lives for themselves, in the 
fact that our beautiful and rich country has been made accessible to the working people only now, under Soviet power. And the 
natural attachment to one's homeland, the soil, the skies under which one was born, grows into the mighty power of pride in one's 
socialist homeland, in its great communist party, in its Stalin. Soviet patriotism grows heroes, knights and millions of brave warriors 
who are ready, like an all-devouring avalanche, to throw themselves on the enemies of the country and to wipe them from the face of 
the earth. Our youth absorbs love for the country with the milk from their mothers. It is our obligation to educate new generations of 
Soviet patriots to whom the interests of the country mean more than anything else, more than life itself . . . With the greatest care and 
skill we nurture, like a tender plant, the great invincible spirit of Soviet patriotism. Soviet patriotism is one of the most outstanding 
manifestations of the October revolution. How full it is of strength, audacity, youth, heroism, gripping beauty and movement! Soviet 
patriotism glows like a mighty flame. It drives life forward. It fires the motors of our storm tanks, of our heavy bombers and 
destroyers, and loads the cannons. Soviet patriotism watches at our borders, where infamous enemies, doomed to destruction, 
threaten our peaceful life, our might and our glory . . . 

This is the political emotional plague. It has nothing to do with natural love for one's country. It is the trashy 
sentimentality of a writer who knows no objective means of kindling people's enthusiasm. It is comparable to the 
sexual erection in an impotent individual, brought about forcibly by an aphrodisiac. The social effects of such a 
patriotism are comparable to the reaction of a healthy woman to a sexual embrace made possible by an 

Perhaps this "Soviet patriotism" was, after the extinction of the early revolutionary enthusiasm, a necessary 
prerequisite for 

[227] the later fight against "Wotan patriotism." Work democracy has no truck with such "patriotisms." In fact, 
the appearance of such aphrodisiac patriotism is a sure sign that rational social guidance has failed. The love of a 
people for their homeland, the attachment to the soil and to a language, are too deep and too serious human 
feelings to be made the objects of political chicanery. Such aphrodisiac patriotisms do not solve one single factual 
problem of the human society of working people, they have nothing to do with democracy. Where trashy pathos 
appears, there is fear among those who are responsible. 

Truly democratic, that is, work-democratic alteration of the structure of the masses can easily keep track of its 
achievements. When the masses begin to call for giant pictures of their "Fiihrers" they are on the path to 
irresponsibility. At the time of Lenin, there was no Fiihrer idolatry and no sky-high pictures of the leaders of the 
proletariat. As is known, Lenin did not want any such thing. 

A further indication of the true alteration of structure in the masses is their attitude to technical progress. In the 
Soviet Union, the construction of the big transport plane "Gorki" was proclaimed a "revolutionary deed." But how 
does it differ from the construction of large planes in Germany or America? It goes without saying that the 
construction of airplanes is indispensable for the establishment of the industrial basis of modern work democracy. 
What matters is whether the masses identify themselves with the plane construction in a nationalist, chauvinistic 
way, whether it is a source of a feeling of superiority toward other nations, or whether the plane construction 
serves to bring different nationalities closer together, whether, in other words, it serves internationalism. That is, 

from the point of view of character structure, airplane construction in itself can have a reactionary as well as a 
work-democratic effect. It may serve to create nationalistic chauvinism if used by power-greedy politicians; it 
may also serve to transport masses of Germans to Russia, Russians to China or Germany, Americans to Germany 
or Italy, Chinese to America or Germany. Then, the German may learn [228] that he is not really so different 
from the Russian worker, or the English worker may learn to regard the Indian worker as something else than a 
born subject for exploitation. 

This illustration shows again that the technical development of a society is not identical with its cultural 
development, and that human character structure represents a social force of itself, reactionary or internationally 
human, even if the technical base is the same in one or the other case. A purely economistic viewpoint is 
catastrophic and must be fought vigorously. 

What is necessary is that the working masses learn no longer to be content with illusory gratifications — which 
always end up in some sort of fascism — but to consider actual gratification of the vital needs as a matter of 
course and to take the responsibility for it. 

The social-democratically organized workers of Vienna considered the construction of a subway by the social- 
democratic community a specifically social-democratic deed. The communistic workers of Moscow considered 
the subway built by the communist government of Moscow a specifically communistic achievement, while the 
German workers considered the planned Bagdad railway a specifically German deed. These examples show the 
plague character of the illusory gratification in political irrationalism. This illusion covers up the simple fact that 
a German, Austrian or Russian railway is based on exactly the same, internationally valid work principles. The 
workers of different countries do not say: "We are all connected with one another through the principle of our 
work and achievement. Let's get together and discuss, say, how we can teach the Chinese workers to apply our 
principles." Instead, the German worker is convinced that his railway is better, say, more Wotanistic, than the 
Russian railway. Thus it never occurs to him that he might help the Chinese to build one. On the contrary, 
hypnotized by his illusory nationalistic gratification, he follows this or that general of the emotional plague who 
wants to rob the Chinese of their railway. Thus the political emotional plague creates deadly enmity within the 
same class, envy, bragging and irresponsibility. [229] Elimination of illusory gratification and its replacement by 
actual gratification of the interest in work and by international cooperation in work are indispensable prerequisites 
to the elimination of the totalitarian state in the character structure of the working people. Only when this is 
achieved will the working masses be able to develop those forces which are necessary to adapt technic to the 
needs of the masses. 

Hinoy wrote in Europdische Hefte of November 22, 1934: "The workers (in the Soviet Union) do not feel 
themselves the masters of their country, not even the youth among them. The state is the master; but youth 
considers this state as their own, and from this stems the patriotism of youth." 

Such findings were general and left no doubt that the society of the Soviet Union during the '30s — whether one 
approves of it or not — had nothing whatsoever to do with the original program of the Communistic Party which 
culminated in the thesis of the abolition of the state. This is an objective statement of fact and not a political 
program directed against the Soviet Union. I should like to ask the secret agents of the G.P.U. in Europe and 
America to take cognisance of this. Murdering those who make such statements of fact will not change the facts 
in the least. 


The second world war has again confirmed what had been general knowledge: The political reactionary differs 
fundamentally from the true democrat in his attitude toward state power. This attitude permits an objective 
evaluation of the social character of the person, no matter to what political party he may belong. According to this 
criterion, there are true democrats among the Fascists and true Fascists among the party Democrats. Like the 

character structure, this attitude toward state power permeates all political groups. Here, too, a black and white 
presentation, that is, a mechanical correlation of attitude and political party, is wrong and sociologically 

The reactionary, typically, demands that the power of the [230] state be above society; he demands the "idea of 
the state," which leads in a straight line to dictatorial absolutism, whether this be represented in state form by a 
royal, ministerial or openly fascist absolutism. The true democrat, who recognizes natural work democracy to be 
the natural basis of international and national cooperation, strives to make the authoritarian handling of the 
difficulties of social living superfluous by eliminating their social causes. This requires a thorough discussion of 
the development of the authoritarian state and its rational function. It is senseless and fruitless to fight an 
irrational social institution without asking oneself how it is possible that this institution, in spite of its 
irrationalism, manages to continue its existence, and even to appear necessary. We saw what made the Russian 
state apparatus necessary, and it was not difficult to see that, in spite of all its irrationalism, it had the rational 
function of keeping Russian society together and of leading it, after the masses had failed in their social task. 

We will condemn as irrational the authoritarian strictness of a mother toward her neurotic child. We know that 
this strictness makes the child ill but we cannot overlook the fact — and this is the cardinal point in the fight 
against authoritarian education — that a child, once made neurotic and living in a neurotic family situation, can be 
made to do things, say, go to school, only by authoritarian means. That is, the mother's authoritarian strictness has 
also a rational aspect, even though limited and conditional. It is not fundamentally rational. We shall have to 
admit this conditional rational function if we are ever to convince the educator, who adheres to the authoritarian 
principle as a makeshift measure, that the authoritarian principle can be eliminated by the prevention of neurotic 
illness in the children. 

The conditional rational function is also present in the authoritarian state, as painful as it is to admit this fact and 
as dangerous as this statement could become in the hands of a mystical dictator. He might say, "You see, even the 
work democrats, all for freedom as they are, admit the necessity and rationality of authoritarian leadership." But 
we know that what makes authori-[23l]tarian leadership necessary is the irrational character structure of the 
human masses. This is the only way to a comprehension of dictatorship, and this comprehension is the only hope 
of ever eliminating it from human life. For by recognizing the irrationality in the structure of the masses we gain 
the social basis to fight it and with it dictatorship, a basis, furthermore, which is objective and not illusory. 
Strengthening of state power is always the result of disturbances in social living. This corresponds to the 
moralistic- authoritarian method of always tackling difficulties at the surface. It never removes the evil but merely 
pushes it into the background from which it later breaks out with all the more violence. If there is no other way of 
dealing with rape murders than the execution of the rape murderer, one takes recourse to execution. This is the 
authoritarian way. In work democracy, the problem is how one could prevent the development of rape murderers. 
Only when we understand the necessity of execution and simultaneously condemn it does the problem of 
prevention become clear. Clearly, the prevention of social evils is one of the principal means of bringing about 
the withering away of the authoritarian state. The moralistic authoritarian principle will continue to function to 
the same extent to which it cannot be replaced by the methods of self-regulation. This applies to the state as well 
as to all fields of social living. 

The authoritarian state is essentially, though not exclusively, a suppressive apparatus. It is, at the same time, a 
sum of social interrelationships which have become autonomous. Originally, the state was identical with society; 
in the course of thousands of years, it alienated itself more and more from society and became a power above and 
against society. 

As long as there was a social organization which was not disrupted by serious inner conflicts, such as the clan 
society, there was no need for any special power to hold this social organism together. If, however, society is split 
up by all kinds of conflicts, it needs a power which prevents its disintegration. The splitting up of German society 
into many inimical politicial parties was an important factor in the rise of fascism. Its rapid rise shows clearly 
[232] that the social unity promised by the idea of the state was more important to the German masses than their 

party ideology. This does not change the fact that political ideologies cannot eliminate the inner disintegration of 
society, be that ideology that of the authoritarian state or that of diverse parties. The Fascists were not alone in 
emphasizing the state; they only did so better and more vigorously than the social-democratic government, the 
Communists or the Liberals. And for just this reason fascism was victorious. It is the political disintegration of 
society, then, which creates the state idea, and conversely, the state idea which creates social disintegration. It is a 
vicious circle with no way out unless one goes to the roots of the disintegration as well as of the state idea and 
reduces both to a common denominator. As we already know, this common denominator is the irrational 
character structure of the masses. It was never comprehended by any of the political parties. It was one of the 
greatest errors in evaluating dictatorship to say that the dictator forces himself on society against its own will. In 
reality, every dictator in history was nothing but the accentuation of already existing state ideas which he had 
only to exaggerate in order to gain power. 
Engels long ago pointed out the double function, rational and irrational, of the state: 

The state is therefore by no means a power imposed on society from the outside; just as little is it "the reality of the moral idea," 
"the image and reality of reason," as Hegel asserted. Rather, it is a product of society at a certain stage of development; it is the 
admission that this society has become entangled in an insoluble contradiction with itself, that it is cleft into irreconcilable 
antagonisms which it is powerless to dispel. But in order that these antagonisms, classes with conflicting economic interests, may not 
consume themselves and society in sterile struggle, a power apparently standing above society becomes necessary, whose purpose is 
to moderate the conflict and keep it within the bounds of "order"; and this power arising out of society, but placing itself above it, 
and increasingly separating itself from it, is the state. 

This sociological clarification of the state concept by the manu-[233]facturer and German sociologist Engels has 
invalidated all philosophies of the state which, in one way or another, go back to the abstract and metaphysical 
state idea of Plato. Engels' theory of the state does not reduce the state apparatus to higher values or nationalist 
mysticism, but gives a simple picture of the double nature of the state. In clarifying the social basis of the state 
apparatus and the contradiction between state and society, this theory gives the wise statesman of the caliber of, 
say, a Masaryk or a Roosevelt, as well as every working individual, the means of understanding the dissociation 
of society and the resulting necessity of a state apparatus, and, with that, the means of eliminating it. 

Let us try to understand the double nature of the state by means of a simple illustration from its development: In 
the early beginnings of civilization, the social tasks of work and living together were simple. Correspondingly, 
the interpersonal relationships were simple. These facts can be studied in the still existing remainders of this old 
simple civilization. Let us take the wellknown organization of the Trobrianders. They have a natural economy, 
that is, a use economy and hardly any market economy. One clan, say, catches fish, another grows fruit. One has 
an excess of fish, the other of fruit; therefore, they exchange fish for fruit. Their production is very simple. 

Besides the economic there is a definite familial interpersonal relationship. Since sexual pairing is exogamous, 
the Trobriand youth of one clan establishes sexual relationships with another clan. If by a social interpersonal 
relationship we mean any relationship which serves the gratification of a basic biological need we have to assign 
the sexual relationships a full function on a par with the economic relationships. The more complex the needs 
become, and the more the division of labor progresses, the less is it possible for the individual working member 
of the society to fulfil his manifold duties. For example: 

Let us transplant our Trobrianders to any region of Europe or Asia. Such an assumption is admissible, for all 
nations have originated from tribes, and the tribes from groups of clans. Similarly, [234] market economy 
everywhere developed out of natural economy. Let us assume that in such a community of say, 200 or 300 souls, 
the need arises of establishing contact with another small community. The need is still small, there is only one 
person among the 200 who wants to communicate with somebody in another community. He gets on his horse 
and rides to the other place to transmit his message. The need for social contact with other communities gradually 
grows. Up to now, every individual was his own postman; but now the rider is asked to take along a number of 
letters. The communities grow, and now hundreds of people in one community wish to correspond with hundreds 

of people in other communities. With the development of commerce, letter- writing has ceased to be a rare 
curiosity. The transmission of letters becomes a vitally necessary task which can no longer be managed in the old 
fashion. The community deliberates and decides to employ a "letter-carrier." It relieves one of its members of all 
other work, guarantees his living expenses and charges him with the transportation of all letters for the 
community. This first letter-carrier is the human embodiment of the interpersonal relationship of writing and 
transmitting letters. In this manner, a social organ is established which as yet does nothing but carry out the 
demand of all the letter writers. Our letter-carrier is a primitive type of social administrator, whose vitally 
necessary work is still strictly in the service of the social community. 

Let us assume that the primitive communities develop into towns of, say, 50,000 souls. One letter-carrier is no 
longer sufficient, but 100 are needed. These 100 letter-carriers need an administration of their own in the person 
of a chief letter-carrier. He comes from the ranks of the plain letter-carriers and is relieved of his job in order to 
take over the job of arranging the work of the 100 letter-carriers in the most advantageous manner. He does as yet 
not "supervise" or command. He is not distinguished from the community of letter-carriers. All he does is 
facilitate their work by arranging a timetable and carrier routes. In order to simplify the whole procedure, he 
makes postage stamps. 

In this manner, a simple, vitally necessary function of society [235] has become autonomous. "The post" has 
become an "apparatus" of society, growing out of society for the purpose of better coordination; it does not yet 
assume the position of a power above society. 

How is it possible for such an administrative social apparatus to become a suppressive power apparatus? It 
does not do so on the basis of its original function. True, the administrative apparatus maintains these social 
functions, but gradually it develops characteristics other than its vitally necessary activity. Let us assume that the 
conditions of authoritarian patriarchy have already developed in our community. For example, there are already 
privileged families which have developed from the original tribal chiefs. By the accumulation of dowries, they 
have developed a twofold power: first, the power of wealth, and second, the power of forbidding their own 
children sexual intercourse with the less well-to-do strata of society. These two power functions always go hand 
in hand in the development of economic and sexual slavery. The increasingly powerful authoritarian patriarch 
wishes to prevent other, weaker members of society from maintaining contact with other communities. He wishes 
to prevent his daughters from exchanging love letters with men of their choice; he has an interest in limiting them 
to certain well-to-do men. His interests of sexual and economic suppression now begin to utilize those social 
functions which originally were in the hands of the total society. On the basis of his growing influence, our 
patriarch will see to it that the post no longer transmits all letters, without discrimination, but excludes certain 
letters, such as love letters and certain business letters. In order to fulfil this novel function, the post assigns to 
one letter-carrier the function of postal censorship. The social administration of letter transportation thus acquires 
a second function which now sets it apart from the total society as an authoritarian apparatus. This is the first 
step in the development of an authoritarian state apparatus from a social administrative apparatus. True, the letter- 
carriers still transmit letters, but now they also poke their noses into them and begin to decree who is allowed to 
write letters and what may be written. To this, the [236] social community reacts either with toleration or with 
protest. The first chasm in the social community has developed, whether one calls it "class difference" or whatnot. 
It is not a matter of words here, but of the distinction between vitally necessary social functions and functions 
which restrict freedom. Now, the way is open to any kind of arbitrary action. For example, the Jesuits may utilize 
the postal censorship for their own purposes, or the secret police may use it to increase its power. 

This simplified example applies to the whole complicated machinery of present-day society. It applies to our 
banking system, the police and school system, to the distribution of goods, and certainly to the international 
representation of society. We can gain an orientation in the social chaos if, in evaluating any given state function, 
we ask ourselves consistently: what in it corresponds to its original function of executing the demands of society, 
and what to the later acquired function of suppressing the freedom of the members of society? The police, 
originally, had the task of protecting the community from murder and robbery. To that extent, they still fulfil a 

useful function of society. When the police, however, presume to prohibit harmless games in private homes, or to 
tell people whether or not they may receive members of the other sex in their homes, etc., then we have the 
picture of a tyrannical authoritarian state power, a state power above society and against it. 

The elimination of those functions of social administration which are above and against society is an inherent 
tendency of work democracy. The natural work-democratic process tolerates no administrative functions save 
those which serve the coherence of society and the facilitation of its vital functions. This makes it clear that one 
cannot be mechanistically "for" or "against" the "state." One has to make the distinctions which we discussed 
above. It is clear also that the state apparatus must again become the executive organ of society if it operates in 
the fulfilment of its natural work functions in the interest of society as a whole. With that, however, it ceases to be 
"state apparatus," and loses precisely those characteristics which alienate it from society, [237] which put it above 
and against society and thus make it the germcell of authoritarian dictatorships. This process represents the 
genuine "withering away of the state." What withers away is only its irrational functions. The rational functions 
are vitally necessary and continue. 

This distinction makes it possible to scrutinize every vitally necessary administrative function in time to 
determine whether it is beginning to assume a position above and against society, that is, turning into a new 
authoritarian state instrument. As long as it serves society it is part of it, is necessary and belongs in the realm of 
vitally necessary work. If, however, it presumes to be the master and tyrant of society, if it presumes autonomous 
power, the state apparatus becomes the deadly enemy of society and must be treated accordingly. 

It goes without saying that none of the modern and complex social organisms could exist without an 
administrative apparatus. It is equally clear that the tendency to autonomous degeneration cannot be eradicated 
simply. Here is a vast field of study for the sociologist and social psychologist. But once the authoritarian state is 
abolished, the task remains of preventing a repetition of the authoritarian autonomy of administrations. Since this 
autonomy is the immediate result of the incapacity of the working masses to govern their own lives, it is clear that 
the problem of the authoritarian state cannot be handled without tackling the problem of human structure, and 
vice versa. 

From this point, we arrive in a direct line to the question of so-called state capitalism, a phenomenon which was 
unknown in the 19th century and which has developed only since the first world war. 


In Russia until about the end of the first world war and in the United States until the world economic crisis about 
1930, the relationships between private capitalism and state were simple. To Lenin and his contemporaries, the 
"capitalist state" was simply the power instrument of the "class of private capitalists." In Rus-[238]sian 
revolutionary films, the simplicity of this relationship was represented somewhat like this: 

The private owner of a factory tries to lower wages while the workers ask for an increase. The capitalist refuses 
to raise the wages, whereupon the workers strike. The capitalist telephones the commissioner of police and asks 
him to "establish order." The police commissioner here appears as the state instrument of the capitalist, thus 
demonstrating the fact that the state is a "state of capitalists": he sends the police, has the "ringleaders" arrested, 
the workers are without leadership, begin to starve and return to work. The capitalist has won out. The situation 
calls for better and stricter organization of the working class. 

In America, state and capitalism were in a similar relationship, at least in the eyes of the sociologist who took 
the side of the workers. The tremendous social changes of the '20s, however, made things less simple. Out of the 
system of private capitalism, social structures developed which were generally termed "state-capitalistic." Russia 
had replaced the private capitalist by the unlimited power of the state. No matter what terms were applied, it was 
clear that in the correct sociological terms of Marx state capitalism had taken the place of private capitalism. The 
concept of capitalism is not determined by the existence of individual capitalists but by the existence of market 
economy and wage labor. 

As a result of the world economic crisis of 1929 to 1933, social processes which tended in the direction of state 
capitalism also set in in Germany and America. The state as an organization above society began to assume an 
autonomy toward the system of private capitalist enterprise; in part it took over functions which previously had 
been left to the private capitalist, as seen, for example, in the substitution of social security for private charity; in 
part, it limited the previously uncontrolled profit-making of private capitalism, more here and less there. All this 
happened under pressure from the masses of wage laborers and employees. In this way, they made their social 
influence felt. Not, however, by having their own organizations take over the [239] administration of social 
processes, but by exercising the necessary pressure on the state apparatus to induce it to restrict the interests of 
private capitalism and to safeguard their rights as much as possible. 

The revolution in Russia and the economic crisis in other countries had created the need to mobilize the existing 
state apparatus against possible social disintegration. "The state" emphasized its original function of keeping 
society together at all costs. 

In Germany, this process was obvious: the need for coherence during the severe crisis of 1929 to 1933 was so 
great that the totalitarian and authoritarian state idea could become victorious with hardly any difficulty. True, 
society was kept together, but none of the problems which had led to the social crisis was solved. Understandably 
enough, for the state ideology was incapable of solving any clash of interests factually and practically. This 
process explains many of the anti-capitalistic measures of fascism which led many sociologists erroneously to 
consider fascism a revolutionary social movement. Rather, it was a sudden change from private capitalism to state 
capitalism. In the Goring industries, state capitalism and private capitalism clearly converged into one. Since anti- 
capitalistic tendencies had always been strong among the German workers and employees, this conversion to state 
capitalism was possible only with anti-capitalistic propaganda. It was precisely this contradiction which made the 
victory of fascism the prototype of social irrationalism and thus made it incomprehensible. Since fascism had 
promised the masses the revolution against private capitalism and at the same time had promised private 
capitalism salvation from the revolution, every movement could only become contradictory, incomprehensible 
and sterile. This explains a great deal of the compulsion which forced the German state apparatus into imperialist 
war. For within German society there was no rational possibility of bringing about order. The establishment of 
quiet by way of the police club and the pistol can hardly be called a "solution of social problems." The 
"unification of the nation," in an illusory manner, had succeeded. We have learned to ascribe to processes which 
[240] are based on illusions an equal if not greater efficacy than to hard reality. One has only to think of the effect 
of the church hierarchy for thousands of years. Even though not one single actual problem of social living was 
solved, the illusory unification of the state gave the impression of an achievement. Subsequently, the untenability 
of such a state solution became clear enough. Society was torn apart more than ever, but, nevertheless, the 
illusory unification had been sufficient to save German society from formal disintegration for a period of ten 
years. The factual solution of this problem of disruption was left to other, more fundamental processes. 

The function of the state of holding together a disrupted society remains the same whether this state calls itself 
capitalistic or proletarian. What we have to keep in mind is the original intention: The fascist authoritarian state 
openly adheres to the state idea and with that to the unalterable slave nature of the masses. The proletarian state of 
Lenin, on the other hand, had the intention of increasingly undermining itself and of establishing self- 
government. In either case, however, the core of the matter is "state control of production and consumption." 

If we remind ourselves of the common denominator, the incapacity of the working masses for social self- 
government, we understand better the logic of the development from private capitalism to state capitalism: 

In Russia, the working masses were able to overthrow the old Tsarist state apparatus and to substitute a state 
apparatus from their own ranks. But they were incapable of progressing to self-government and of assuming 
responsibility themselves. 

In other countries, the formally highly organized working masses were incapable of furthering self-government, 
ideologically proclaimed as it was, through their own organizations and incapable of really assuming it. For this 
reason, the state apparatus was forced to take over more and more functions which really belonged to the masses. 

It assumed them in their place, as it were, as for example in Scandinavia and the United States. 

As basically different as the state control of social production [241] and consumption may have become in 
Russia, Germany, Scandinavia or the United States, there is still a common denominator: the incapacity of the 
masses for social self-government. From this common basis of a state-capitalistic development follows logically 
and simply the danger of authoritarian dictatorships. It is left to chance whether a state official is a democratic or 
an authoritarian representative of the state. Seen from the standpoint of the structure and ideology of the working 
masses, there is not a single concrete guarantee that state capitalism does not develop into dictatorship. Just for 
this reason is the emphasis on the role of human character structure and the shifting of the responsibility from 
man to the processes of love, work and knowledge of such decisive significance in the struggle for true 
democracy and social self-regulation. 

As painful as the fact may be, we are confronted with a human structure as it has developed in thousands of 
years of mechanistic civilization which expresses itself in social helplessness and a longing for a Fiihrer. The 
German and the Russian state apparatus originated in old despotisms. Thus the characterological serfdom of the 
masses was extremely pronounced in Germany and Russia. In either case, the revolution, with the unerring aim of 
irrational logic, led to new despotism. In contrast, the American state apparatus originated from groups of people 
who had escaped European or Asiatic despotism by fleeing to a young country free of oppressing traditions. Only 
thus can we understand that up to now no totalitarian state apparatus could develop in America, while in Europe 
every revolution carried out with the slogan of freedom inevitably led to despotism. This is true of Robespierre as 
well as of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. The dictators of Europe, who base their power on millions, all come from 
the suppressed strata. This tragic fact contains more material for social study than the comparatively simple facts 
of despotism under a Tsar or a Kaiser Wilhelm. The founders of the American Revolution had to build their 
democracy from scratch on foreign soil. The people who achieved this had all been rebels against English 
despotism. The Russian revolutionaries, on the other hand, had [242] to take over the totality of all the Russians. 
The Americans could make a fresh start, the Russians were weighed down by all the old things. Whether the 
Americans will be able to resist the forces of irrationalism or whether they will succumb to them remains to be 

I would like to emphasize the fact that it is not a question here of blaming anybody, but merely of describing 
developments as they take place on the basis of certain given conditions. 

These circumstances may also explain why the Americans, in whom the memory of their own flight from 
despotism was still alive, had a more sympathetic attitude toward the refugees from the second world war than 
Soviet Russia, which closed its doors to them. They may also explain why in the United States the attempts to 
maintain the old democratic ideals and to progress toward true self-government were so much more vigorous than 
elsewhere. True, there were many failures and inhibitions caused by tradition; nevertheless, the attempts at true 
democracy had found their place in America, and not in Russia. It is to be hoped that American democracy will 
realize thoroughly, and in time, that fascism is not a matter of nationality or party and that it will succeed in 
mastering the tendency to dictatorship in the people themselves. 

Let us summarize briefly the connections between mass structure and state form: 

The influence of the character structure of the masses determines the state form, no matter whether it expresses 
itself by passivity or by activity. It is the mass structure which tolerates and actively supports imperialism, which 
can overthrow despotisms without being able to prevent new despotisms. It is the mass structure which furthers 
and supports true democratic endeavors when the state operates in that direction. It releases national revolutionary 
movements when the true international democratic freedom movement fails. It takes refuge in the illusory unity 
of family, nation and state when democracy fails; but it also carries on the process of love, work and knowledge. 
Only this mass structure is capable of implanting in itself the true democratic [243] tendencies of a state 
administration, by taking over, piece by piece, the administration "above it" and by learning to execute its 
function through its own work organizations. It does not matter whether the change from state administration to 
self-government takes place rapidly or gradually; it is better, for everyone concerned, if it takes place organically 

and without bloodshed. This is possible only if the representatives of the state above society are fully aware of the 
fact that they are nothing but executive organs of working human society; that they are makeshift executive 
organs, necessitated by the ignorance and misery in which millions of people live; that, strictly speaking, their 
task is that of good educators, whose aim it is to make independent adults of children. A society striving for true 
democracy should never lose sight of the principle that it is the task of the state to make itself progressively 
unnecessary, just as an educator becomes unnecessary after having done his job with the child. Only then will 
bloodshed become unnecessary; only to the extent to which the state clearly makes itself superfluous is organic 
work-democratic development possible; on the other hand, to the extent to which the state tends to perpetuate 
itself, forgetting its educational task, it provokes human society to remind it that it owes its existence to an 
emergency and that it has to disappear with that emergency. The responsibility — in the good sense of the 
word — rests with the state as well as the masses. The state must not only further the strongest longings for 
freedom in the working masses, it has also the task of adding to it the capacity for freedom. If it fails to do so, if it 
suppresses the longing for freedom or even misuses it and obstructs the tendency toward self-government, it 
proves its fascist character. Then it must be held accountable for all the damages and perils caused by its 
dereliction of duty. 


Work is the basis of social existence. Every sociological theory emphasizes this fact. The problem, however, is 
not whether this is so, but whether work, intrinsically, is in conflict with the bio- [244] logical needs of the masses 
or in harmony with them. The economic theory of Marx has demonstrated the fact that all economic values owe 
their existence to living working power and not to dead material. 

As the only force which produces values, human working power deserves special interest and the greatest care. 
In a society governed by a market economy — which is not an economy of use — such careful attention to human 
working power is out of the question. This working power is bought by the owner of the means of production 
(state or capitalist) and consumed like any other commodity. The wages which the worker receives correspond 
approximately to the minimum necessary for the reproduction of his working power. Profit economy is not 
interested in being sparing in its use of the working power, for the increasing mechanization and rationalization of 
work liberate so much working power that whatever is used up is readily replaced. 

The Soviet Union eliminated private profit economy, but not that of the state. Originally, it was to change the 
capitalist "rationalization" of work into a socialist rationalization. It liberated the productive powers and generally 
shortened working hours; thus, it succeeded in getting through the severe economic crisis of 1929 to 1932 without 
unemployment. There is no doubt that the Soviet Union, with its measures of rationalization, which in the 
beginning were partly socialist, succeeded in satisfying the economic needs of society. The basic problem of a 
true democracy, of a work democracy, however, goes beyond this: it is the problem of whether work is really so 
changed that from a burdensome duty it can become the pleasurable gratification of a need. 

Character-analytic investigation of the human work function points the way to a future practical solution of the 
problem of pleasure in work. One can distinguish two basic types of human work activity: compulsive- 
unpleasurable and natural joyful work. 8 In order to understand this, one has to free oneself of certain mechanistic 
concepts of human work. Experimental psychology 

8 Cf. Reich, CHARACTER- ANALYSIS. Orgone Institute Press, 1945. 

[245] works only on the question as to which methods provide the maximum utilization of human working 
power. In speaking of pleasure in work, it refers to that, say, of an independently working scientist or artist. The 
psychoanalytic theory of work also makes the mistake of taking its orientation exclusively from mental work. A 

mass-psychologically correct investigation of work must be based on the relationship of the worker to the product 
of his work. This relationship has a socio-economic background and refers to the pleasure which the individual 
derives from his work. Work is a fundamental biological activity, based, like life in general, on pleasurable 

The pleasure in work of an "independently" working academician cannot be made the yardstick of work in 
general. Seen in social terms, work in the 20th century is governed entirely by duty and the necessity of making a 
living. The work done by hundreds of millions of workers in the world provides neither pleasure nor biological 
gratification. It is of the type of compulsive work and at variance with the biological need for pleasure. It is done 
out of duty or conscience, in order not to starve, and is, as a rule, done for others. The worker has no interest in 
the product of his work, consequently the work is devoid of pleasure and is a burden. Any work based on 
compulsion instead of pleasure is not only uneconomical biologically, but also relatively unproductive 

The problem is gigantic and obscure. It is clear that mechanistic, biologically ungratifying work is a product of 
the general mechanistic view of life and of machine civilization. Can the biological and the social work function 
be reconciled? Yes, but not without a radical correction of well-established concepts and institutions. 

In the trades of the past centuries, the worker still had a full relationship to his product. If, however, as in an 
automobile factory, a worker, year in and year out, executes the same manipulation on a mere detail of the 
product, without ever seeing the total product, gratifying work is clearly out of the question. As a result of the 
specialized and mechanized division of labor, to-[246]gether with the system of wage labor, the worker has no 
relationship with the product. 

One may object here that there is a need for work, an enjoyment of work which is intrinsic in the activity of 
work. True, there is a biological enjoyment of activity, but the forms into which this activity is forced in a market 
economy smother and obliterate this enjoyment in work. It is a primary task of work democracy to harmonize the 
conditions and forms of work with the need of and enjoyment in work, in other words, to eliminate the 
contradiction between joy in life on the one hand and work on the other. This problem opens a vast field for 
human thinking: Would it be possible to retain the rationalization and mechanization of work and yet not to kill 
the enjoyment in work? It is entirely conceivable that the worker might have contact with the total product of his 
labor without eliminating the division of labor. Enjoyment in work is an essential and indispensable element in 
the alteration of human structure from work slave to master of production. If people again have an immediate 
relationship to the product of their work they will also joyfully take the responsibility for the work. 

One might point to the Soviet Union and say: "You work democrats are Utopians and daydreamers even though 
you claim to look at reality unsentimen tally. Where, in the workers' paradise of the Soviet Union, is 'elimination 
of the division of labor,' or enjoyment in work? Or the elimination of the wage system or of market economy? 
You can see from the results of the workers' revolution how impossible and illusory are Epicurean work 
concepts ! " 

The answer to these arguments is the following: True, the mysticism of the masses is today, in spite of the 
progress in natural science, stronger than before. However, if a striven-for goal — in this case, the rationality of the 
masses — is not attained, that is no argument against the possibility of attaining it. The basic question remains 
whether the goal of joyful work is correct or not. If so, if it is what everybody longs for, then we must ask what 
obstacles are in the path of this rational goal. This is the same in [247] the realm of technic as in that of science. If 
Mount Everest has not been climbed to date, that does not mean that it cannot be climbed at all. What matters is 
the top 800 meters. 

It is at this point that the sharp clash between work democracy and politics reveals itself clearly and simply: Our 
newspapers are full of political debates which do not take into consideration one single problem of the work 
process. Imagine that a work-democratic community would close the columns of its newspapers to irrationalism 
and would give them over to the discussion of the conditions of joyful work. The working masses would come 
forth with suggestions so numerous that they would make politiciandom impossible. Imagine how joyfully 

foremen, technicians and specialized workers would discuss every aspect of the work process, how they would 
present improvements, inventions, and so on. They would compete with one another and would have violent 
debates, which would be only to the good. It took hundreds of years before the idea came up of building factories 
not like dark prisons but with much light, good ventilation, shower baths, kitchens, etc. The process of war 
production introduced radio in the factories. This process would grow indefinitely if the newspapers were at the 
disposal of the working people instead of the politicians. 

In the first years of the Soviet economy there were the beginnings of work democracy. For example, an all- 
round preparation of the growing generation for a professional life replaced the one-sided professional training; 
this was an attempt to counteract the damages of the division of labor. The contrast between "mental" and 
"manual" work diminished. Youth obtained such an all-round preparation for their future professional life that 
every member of society could assume any place in the work process. Workers from different kinds of factories 
were exchanged. When well-trained workers assumed a place in the management of the factory, they were sent 
back to the machines after a while so that they would not lose contact with the work and would not develop into 
administrative bureaucrats. 

Self-government in the factories found its expression in the [248] institution of the so-called "directorate of 
three"; every factory was administered by elected representatives of the workers. In this manner, all the workers 
of a factory participated directly in the administration. There were special "meetings on production." This and 
many other facts show that an attempt was made to re-establish the unity of joy in work and achievement in work. 
Here, the opponent of work democracy might point out triumphantly that most of these achievements did not last, 
that, for example, the production meetings gradually underwent a formalistic degeneration or were given up 
altogether. The answer is the following: Did not the Wright brothers make flying possible, even though the 
attempts of Daedalus and Icarus in antiquity, and the attempts of Leonardo da Vinci in the middle ages, failed? 
The first attempts at a work-democratic management of factories failed because the change in factory 
management did not go hand in hand with an alteration of human structure. This can be a lesson for doing things 
better next time. 

The directorate of three, and the self-government of the factories were given up when a single director took over 
the individual responsibility and advanced to an independent leading position. True, this director still came from 
the workers of the respective factory. But this autonomous director inevitably developed all the characteristics of 
a supervisor, bureaucrat and master who was alienated from the masses of the workers. It is here that the new 
"ruling class" of the Soviet Union originated. But this does not contradict the fact that every work 
process — naturally and necessarily — is work-democratic. The self-regulation of work exists spontaneously. It is a 
matter of changing the structure of the working people in such a manner that this natural work democracy is 
liberated from bureaucratic shackles and can develop its own forms and organizations. The work democrat who is 
conversant with work processes does not deny the difficulties; on the contrary, he emphasizes them because his 
aim is to comprehend and overcome them. He does not gloat over the fact that there are difficulties, failures and 
regressions, as does the politician, whose stock in trade they are. He does not use them to prove [249] the 
impossibility of an envisaged economy of use or the alteration of human structure; on the contrary, he learns 
precisely from the difficulties how things could be done better. He who is paralyzed can laugh when a sprinter 
loses a step. 

One of the great and early difficulties in the Soviet Union was the fact that precisely the worker who was well 
trained and much interested in his work showed little enthusiasm for politics. As a workers' official put it: "The 
most important thing is love for one's profession; the qualified workers are the best reserves of the party. They are 
very much conscious of their profession and constantly looking for ways of improving their work. If one asks 
them why they do not join the party they say they don't have time, that they are interested in how to improve steel 
or to mix concrete. Then they make inventions of their own, such as tools. It is precisely for the approach to such 
workers that we have as yet found no way [italics mine. — W.R.]; nevertheless, they are the best and most highly 

This official touched upon a central problem of the relationship between work and politics. One also met it in 
Germany, where one heard it said again and again: "We freedom politicians are right in our concepts, and the 
workers understand us, but they don't want to have anything to do with politics; we cannot reach the industrial 
workers either." The most important reason for this was a fact which one overlooked or did not comprehend: 
Politics understood nothing of factual problems and was completely isolated from work. If a worker was 
interested in his work and belonged to a party, he had to "switch to politics" in the evening. The politicians did 
not know how to develop revolutionary ideas and attitudes from the work process itself; they simply did not know 
anything about work. Instead, they tried to approach the workers with high politics which did not interest them. 
Every detail of work democracy, however, can be organically developed from factual work. All who do 
responsible work will come to feel that the factory is their responsibility if they concern themselves with 
questions like the following: How do we organize our factory when we have to manage it? What difficulties are 
to be dealt [250] with? How do we rationalize the factory in order to facilitate the work? What further knowledge 
must we acquire in order to manage it better? What do we have to do about lodgings, kitchens, nurseries, etc.? 
The alienation of the workers from their work can be eliminated only if the workers themselves learn to factually 
manage the factory which actually they keep alive; this eliminates the chasm between professional work and 
social responsibility which ruins social life. They become a unity; this also eliminates the conflict between 
enjoyment in work and the mechanical conditions of working. In Germany under fascism, the worker had no 
interest whatsoever in the work process. He was a "led," irresponsible subject who obeyed the commands of the 
responsible manager; or he had the nationalistic illusion of representing the factory as "a German"; not as the 
producer of use values who is responsible to society, but as "a German." This illusory, nationalistic attitude 
characterized the whole NSBO work in Germany which used all possible means to cover up the workers' lack of 
interest in their work by an illusory identification with "the state." Now, society is society, and machine is 
machine, whether they function in Germany, America or elsewhere. Like work, society and machine are 
international facts. "German work" is nonsense. Natural work democracy does not camouflage the lack of interest 
by an illusory identification with a "state" or with the color of the hair or the shape of the nose; instead, it 
eliminates it through the actual responsibility of every worker for his product and his feeling that "his factory is 
his." What matters is not a. formal "class consciousness," the feeling of belonging to this or that "class," but the 
professional factual interest, the factual contact with work which replaces nationalism and class consciousness by 
work consciousness. Not until one has a close factual contact with one's work does one understand how disastrous 
the work forms in the dictatorships and the formal democracies are not only for the work itself but also for the 
enjoyment of work. 

The relationship of an individual to his work, if he enjoys it, is libidinous. Since work and sexuality (in the 
narrowest and the broadest sense of the word) are closely interwoven, the relation- [251] ship to work is at the 
same time a question of the sex-economy of the masses: the hygiene of the work process depends on the manner 
in which the masses apply and gratify their biological energy. Work and sexuality derive from the same biological 

The political revolution, carried out by the workers, did not result in the realization that the workers are also 
responsible for everything. This led to the regression to authoritarian measures. At an early period, the Soviet 
government had to struggle with the difficulty that the workers did not take care of the tools. There were ever- 
recurring complaints about leaving the factories, about an enormous turnover of workers in the factories. In 
Borsen of May 22, 1934 there was a detailed report on the "unsatisfactory" conditions in the coal mine districts. It 
took extraordinary measures, such as ordering surplus engineers and technicians from the offices to the mines, to 
raise the daily production from 120,000 tons to 148,000 tons during that month; but even then not all machines 
were running, and in March, 1934 the daily output dropped again to 140,000 tons. One of the main reasons was 
"negligence" in treating the machinery. Another was that many workers tried to get away from the mines "with 
the coming of spring, " which the press ascribed to "lack of interest." In the course of January and February, 
33,000 workers left the mines, and 28,000 new workers were employed. One would think that such a mass 

exodus could have been prevented if the workers had been provided with better lodgings and recreation facilities. 
True, clubs, theaters and other recreational facilities were established. That is, there was an inkling of the 
significance of enjoyment for the hygiene of the work process. Officially, however, and particularly in social 
ideology, work was proclaimed the content of life and was set against sexuality. In the film, THE ROAD TO LIFE 
a revolt breaks out in spring among the delinquents running a factory. They smash the machines and refuse to 
work. In the film, this revolt is explained by "lack of material" due to floods which made the railway unusable. It 
was clear, however, that the boys, who lived without girls in their collectives, had [252] "spring fever" which was 
not caused but only precipitated by the work stoppage. Ungratified sexuality readily turns into rage. If, now, 
33,000 workers suddenly leave the works, the reason lies undoubtedly in the unsatisfactory sex-economic 
conditions in the Soviet Union. By "sex-economic conditions" we mean not only the possibility of an orderly, 
gratifying love life, but, in addition, everything that has to do with pleasure and enjoyment in work. The Soviet 
politicians, however, practised a kind of work therapy against the sexual needs. Such a procedure inevitably 
boomerangs. During 10 years of reading of official Soviet literature, I never found a single hint of such decisive 
biological connections. 

The relationship between the sexual life of the working people and their work achievement is of decisive 
significance. It is erroneous to believe that the more sexual energy is diverted from gratification the more work is 
achieved. The opposite is true: the more satisfactory the sex life, the fuller and more pleasurable is the work 
achievement. After sexual gratification, the sexual energy turns into interest in work and urge for activity. 
Conversely, work is disturbed in various ways if the sexual needs are not gratified and the sexual energy is 
dammed up. Therefore, a basic principle of work hygiene in a work-democratic society is the following: Not only 
the best external work conditions have to be established, but also the inner biological conditions if the biological 
urge for activity is to be fully developed. The safeguarding of a fully gratifying sexual life of the working masses 
is the most important prerequisite for joyful work. The degree to which work, in any society, serves to kill joie de 
vivre, the degree to which work is presented as duty (no matter whether toward "the fatherland," "the proletariat," 
"the nation" or whatever the illusions may be called) is a sure indication of the anti-democratic character of the 
leading strata of this society. Just as "duty," "state," "propriety," "sacrifice," etc., go inseparably together, so do 
"joie de vivre," "work democracy," "self-regulation," "enjoyment in work" and "natural sexuality." 

Academic philosophers rack their brains over the question as to whether or not there is a biological need to 
work. The urge for [253] activity arises from biological excitation in the organism; it is, therefore, naturally 
given. But the forms of work are not of biological but of social origin. The natural, play-like urge for activity 
turns spontaneously to factual tasks and goals and enters the service of the gratification of social and individual 
needs. Applied to work hygiene, this means that work must be such that the biological urge for activity is 
developed and gratified. This function excludes any kind of moralistic-authoritarian work out of duty and 
requires the following: 

1. Establishment of the best external work conditions (unemployment insurance, shorter hours, change of work 
function, establishment of immediate contact between the worker and his product). 

2. Liberation of the natural urge for activity (prevention of rigid character armorings). 

3. Creation of all the conditions which make it possible that sexual energy is turned into work interest. That 

4. An actually gratifying sexual life. This requires the safeguarding of all prerequisites for a. fully gratifying, sex- 
economic, socially affirmed sexual life of the masses of working people (general hygiene, contraception, sex- 
economic affirmation of infantile and adolescent sexuality). 

In order to learn from what happened, one must fully understand the regressions in the Soviet Union: The 
difficulties of mass structure were misjudged; they were considered merely an "ideological" factor of secondary 
importance. What was more or less moralizingly condemned as "old traditions," as "laziness" or "petit-bourgeois 
tendencies" turned out to be a much vaster and much more difficult problem than the reorganization of the 
economy. Under the pressure of a hostile imperialist world threatening war, the Soviet government was forced to 

carry out its industrialization at high speed; thus it fell back on authoritarian methods and the early beginnings of 
a social self-regulation were neglected or dropped. 
What failed completely was the creation of interest in work, the change from compulsive, authoritarian to 
voluntary, biologi-[254]cally pleasurable work achievement. Work continued to be done under the pressure of 
strong competition or with the mechanism of illusory identification with the state. As Stalin stated at the 17th 
Party Day, there was a "depersonalization of work," an "indifference toward the material" on which work was 
done and toward the product of the work. The supervisory committee of workers and peasants which had been 
established in 1917 to control the central executive committee and which was a consistently democratic 
institution, proved inadequate. Stalin made the following statement: 

The supervisory committee of workers and peasants cannot meet the demands of a good control of execution. A few years ago, 
when our work in the economic field was simpler and less gratifying and when the inspection of the work of all commissars was 
possible, the supervisory committee of workers and peasants was indicated. But now that our work in the economic field has grown 
and has become complicated, that it is no longer necessary or possible to have it inspected by a central agency, the supervision of 
workers and peasants must be reorganized. We no longer need inspection, but a checking of how the decisions of the central 
agencies are executed. What we need now is a control over the execution of the decisions of the central agencies, an organization 
which — without trying to inspect everything — will be capable of concentrating its whole attention on checking the execution of the 
decisions of the central institutions. Such an organization can only be the Soviet control commission of the council of peoples' 
commissions of the Soviet Union which works at the orders of the council of the peoples' commissars and has representatives who 
are independent of local organizations. In order to invest them with sufficient authority, however, and to enable them to call to 
account, if necessary, any responsible official, it is necessary that the candidates for the Soviet control commissions be nominated by 
the Party Day and confirmed by the council of peoples' commissars and by the central executive committee of the USSR. I believe 
that only such an organization will be capable of strengthening Soviet control and Soviet discipline ... It is necessary that the 
members of this organization can be elected or dismissed only by the highest organ, the Party Day. There can be no doubt that such 
an organization will be really capable of safeguarding [255] the control over the execution of the decisions of the central party 
organs and of strengthening party discipline. [Italics, throughout, are mine. — W.R.]. 

This shows clearly the change from self-government in industry to authoritarian management. The "supervisory 
committees of workers and peasants" which in the beginning had to control state administration were abolished 
and replaced by a checking of the work of workers and peasants by appointed state organs. The workers and 
peasants did not object, the failure of social democracy was complete. The incapacity for freedom of the masses 
remained unrecognized. 

This change had become necessary in the interest of keeping Russian society together. Self-government of the 
working masses had not become a reality. It could not develop because the Communist Party, while it had 
proclaimed the principle of self-government, did not recognize the means of developing it. Previously, the 
inspection by the workers and peasants had had the task of supervising all Soviet commissars and economic 
organizations as the elected representatives of the Soviet congress; in other words, the masses, who selected the 
Soviet, supervised the party and the economy. Now, they transferred this function to the party and to its own 
organs who were independent of the local Soviet organizations. While the inspection by the workers and peasants 
had been an expression of the social tendency to self-regulation and self-government of the masses, the new 
"control commission" was the expression of an authoritarian execution of party decisions. It was only one of 
many regressions from an intended self-regulation to an authoritarian management of society and its economy. 

Could this be ascribed to the questionable nature of the Soviets? The answer is: not the Soviets as 
representations of the workers were a failure, but their management by the politicians. The Soviet government 
had to manage, under all circumstances, the problems of economy and of work discipline. Since the principle of 
self-regulation failed, it had to be replaced, of necessity, by the authoritarian principle. This does not mean that we 
affirm the [256] authoritarian principle. On the contrary: if we emphasize this catastrophic regression, it is only in 
order to ask for its reasons and in order to help the principle of self-regulation to victory after all, by elimination 
of the existing difficulties. The responsibility for this falls fully on the working masses themselves. Unless they 

learn to eliminate their own weaknesses, they will remain bogged down in authoritarian forms. Nobody can help 
them, they carry the full responsibility themselves. Only this truth contains hope. The Soviet government cannot 
be blamed for falling back on authoritarian and moralistic methods; it had to if it was not to endanger everything. 
It is to be blamed for forgetting about self-regulation, for blocking its development by not creating its 
prerequisites. It is to be blamed for forgetting that the state must wither away. It is to be blamed for not making 
the failure of self-regulation of the masses the starting point of new and vigorous efforts; for trying to make itself 
and the world believe that, in spite of everything, this self-regulation was continuing to develop and that there 
was "full socialism" and "true democracy." Illusions always prevent that which they pretend to be from really 
being carried out. Consequently, it is the first duty of every true democrat to detect such difficulties in 
development and to help to master them. Open avowal of dictatorship is much less dangerous than sham 
democracy. The first one can fight; sham democracy is insidious. The Soviet politicians cannot be spared the 
reproach of dishonesty. They have done more harm to the progress of true world democracy than Hitler. This 
reproach is severe but necessary. One cannot just talk of self-criticism; as painful as it may be, one must 
practically achieve it. 

The failure of self-government and self-regulation consequently led to a warlike organization of work discipline 
during the first Five-year-plan. The science of economics was a "fortress" which had to be "captured" by youth. 
The newspapers reported "campaigns" and "fronts" in the form of war bulletins; workers' armies engaged in 
"battles," brigades stormed "passes." "Iron battalions" took "sections of the front under crossfire," there were 
"cadres," "deserters," "manoeuvres," "alarms" and "mobilizations." 

[257] These examples may suffice to show that the gigantic Five-year-plan was possible only with the aid of an 
ideology taken from a war atmosphere and which created a war atmosphere. Because the Western social 
revolution had failed to come about and much more because of the failure of self-government in Russia, the 
country was almost in a state of war. Soviet diplomacy at that time had the task of postponing any armed conflict, 
particularly the conflict with Japan about the East Chinese railway and Manchuria. But what at that time, due to 
objective circumstances, was inevitable and actually made the Soviet Union prepared against imperialist attacks, 
had two disastrous results: 

1. If a population of 160 million is kept in a war atmosphere and filled with a war ideology over a period of 
years, this does not remain without influence on character formation. It resulted in a warlike structure, 
independent of the original goal of the war ideology. "Selfless sacrifice" as the ideal of life in mass education 
gradually formed the mass-psychological soil for such undemocratic processes as purges, executions and 
compulsive measures of all kinds. Who, after this, can still underestimate the role of biopsychology in the 
development of a democratic society? 

2. If a government, surrounded by hostile neighbors, engages for years in a certain kind of war-ideological 
education of the masses, and, pressed by acute difficulties, forgets its real task, it is apt to maintain this 
atmosphere and to accentuate it further even when it has become superfluous after the achievement of its goal. 
The masses vegetate or drown their misery in irrational chauvinism. 

The authoritarian regulation of the work process was fully in accord with the warlike atmosphere in which the 
Soviet people were living. A change of working methods in the direction of self-government could not be thought 
of. The heroism, particularly of the Komsomol, in the fight for industrial advance was in itself admirable. But 
what is the difference between the heroism of the Komsomol and that of Hitler youth or an imperialist warrior? 
Where is the fight for human, instead of national, freedom? The heroism of an English or German soldier in the 
world [258] war should not be considered less than that of the Komsomol in the fight for industrialization. Unless 
we distinguish strictly the emotion of heroism from the goal of freedom, we are apt to lose sight of the goal, 
which is self-regulation. True, the heroism was "necessary," but since the alteration of structure of the masses did 
not take place, the goal was not attained either, namely, that social state for which generations of fighters for 
freedom had sacrificed themselves. Since the interest in work was "depersonalized," one had to fall back on the 
"drive for acquisition." The premium system was reintroduced; workers were fed and lodged according to the 

value of their working power; more, the system of piece- wages was introduced in an accentuated form. All this 
was "necessary," but one should have realized that it meant moving toward the direct opposite of the original 

The moralistic authoritarian regulation of work was also expressed in the fact that workers were prevented from 
leaving their jobs; workers were obliged, for example, to stay on a job until the end of the Five-year-plan. Since, 
during that period, about 40% of Russian industry was in war production, work had to be speeded up 
tremendously in order to keep up the production of consumers' goods. To kindle ambition, "evenings of work" 
were introduced where contests in various work activities were held. The factories introduced a black blackboard 
with the names of the "lazy" workers and a red one with the names of the "good, useful" workers. Nothing is 
reported on the effect on morale of these measures. But from all we know about such measures it must be 
assumed that the effect on structure formation was disastrous. Those put on the black board must have felt shame, 
envy, inferiority feelings and even bitter hatred; those put on the red board could triumph over their competitors, 
could feel themselves on top and could live out their brutality. Nevertheless, the loser in such a contest is not 
necessarily the "poorer" individual. On the contrary; we may assume that many among the "black" had a freedom 
structure, even though neurotic. Conversely, the winner did not necessarily have a freedom structure, for the 
characteristics which were stimulated in him are precisely those [259] of the overambitious, pushing fellow, the 
informer, in brief, the individual afflicted with the emotional plague. 

How little one thought of the fact that the state had to wither away and transfer its functions to the people is seen 
in the following poem which was introduced to improve work discipline: 

Es braucht der Staat fur die Kolchose 

zahllose stahlerne Agitatoren. 

Vom Pazifik bis Minsk, von Wjatka bis Krim 

harrt fetter Ackerboden der Traktoren. 

Es ruft der Staat! 

Voran, voran! Mann fur Mann! 

Tretet an! 

Den Hammer Nacht und Tag 
schwingen wir Schlag auf Schlag, 
bauen taglich hundertmal 
dem Land ein neues Ross aus Stahl. 9 

"The state needs" — instead of "we need." This may seem to make no difference to the economist, but for the 
alteration of human structure such formulations are of decisive significance. 

A striking sign of the dire straits of the work function was the so-called Stakanov movement. Stakanovites were 
workers who far exceeded the average production level of a factory. Stakanov had been the first industrial worker 
to establish records of work performance. Clearly the basis of Stakanovism was the workers' lack of interest in 
their work. This is not the place for criticism: the Soviet Union was forced to increase production rapidly. Since 
the working masses failed, it resorted to stimulating ambition by means of work records and sharply graduated 
wage scales. But 

9 The state for its collectives 
Needs workers, men of iron. 

From the Pacific to Minsk, from Vyatka to the Crimea 

Fertile farmland waits the tractor. 

The state is calling! 

Come, every man! Step forward! 

Night and day the hammer swings, 

We build each day a hundred times 

Horses of steel for our land. 

[260] the necessity of this process should not divert our attention from the main problem: Even a slight increase 
in the work interest and working capacity of every single worker would have made the Stakanov movement 
superfluous. But this, in turn, would have necessitated a radical alteration of sexual policy and sexual education. 
For this, the necessary insight and will were lacking. 

The slip into Stakanovism had disastrous effects on the structure formation of the people. Only the most 
ambitious and brutal were able to keep up with ambitious records, while the great mass of workers fell behind. A 
chasm developed between the average workers and a few work athletes who are apt to develop into a new ruling 
class. As long as the broad masses of the workers do not work with enthusiasm and the consciousness of personal 
responsibility, so long can there be no question of replacing compulsive discipline by enjoyment in work, and will 
there be complaints about the workers, about poor production, about absenteeism and neglect of machinery. The 
new chasm between the workers creates envy and ambition among the weaker, arrogance and contempt among 
the stronger. A feeling of collective belonging cannot develop; denunciation and all kinds of emotional plague 
reactions are bound to occur. 

In evaluating the democratic or undemocratic character of a process, the judgment of National Socialist or 
fascist ideologists provides a good yardstick. Where nationalistic, chauvinistic, militaristic or imperialistic 
politicians make laudatory comments, one must be on one's guard. Mehnert, for example, reports as follows: 

Frequently, the Komsomols coming to another factory to help are welcomed with anything but open arms, for the methods which 
they use to incite the workers to increased achievement are usually not very considerate. Particularly the workers' correspondents, 
who drag everything in the open in the press, are often cordially hated. The lack of tools and raw materials, the usually desolate 
living conditions, and the passive resistance of so many workers are often more than the Komsomols can stand, and there were 
instances where they arrived singing triumphant songs and departed with tears of desperation. 

[261] These are the facts; and now follows the glorification of the Soviet spirit by the Fascist: 

This mythos is simple and clear. In our mythless and myth-hungry times, it has a fascinating effect. And like any other mythos, it 
has created an ethos, an ethos which already millions carry within themselves and which takes hold of others year after year. It says 
to the Russian: "The need is great, and the goals which we have set for ourselves are far. We can attain them only in the struggle 
against the whole world which fears and hates us, in the struggle against enemies around us and within us. To the extent to which we 
approach socialism our needs will become less. But we can win only if we are all for one and one for all. Everyone carries his part of 
the responsibility. If, in war, a factory makes poor rifles, it commits a crime against the totality of the people, not only against the 
soldiers who are killed because of them. If, today, a factory makes poor machines, it commits a crime against socialism, against all 
who fight for its development. Desertion at the war front is not a crime against an officer, but a betrayal of the comrades. Desertion 
at the front of the Five-year-plan and of socialism is not a strike against an entrepreneur, but a crime against everyone of us. For ours 
is this country, its factories and its future. " 

Such disciplinization of work results in a human structure permeated by religious fanaticism and dumb, passive 
resistance alike. Always has the "ethos" of the few with their discipline led to the uselessness of the broad masses. 
Mythos and ethos may be heroic, but they are always dangerous, undemocratic and reactionary measures. What 
matters is the character, the will, the conviction, the voluntary responsibility and enthusiasm of the broad masses 
of the working people. They must be willing and able to fight for their lives themselves. An ethos which, based on 
mass misery, makes such great demands on willingness to sacrifice and on discipline that only a few can follow it 
may be elevating but it will not solve a single social problem. A true democrat, a work democrat, on finding that 
he does not reach the masses with such an ethos, will only say, To hell with it. 

Was the authoritarian, nationalistic regulation of work in the Soviet Union necessary? Yes. 

[262] Was it capable of making the country prepared for war? Yes. 

Was this regulation a democratic measure, a measure for the establishment of self-government of Russian 
society? No. 

What has it contributed to the solution of social problems and to the gratification of the needs of society? 
Nothing. On the contrary, it produced a nationalistic human structure and with that laid the foundation of the red 

one-man-dictatorship . 

The evaluation of a freedom structure or of a tendency of a society toward freedom has nothing to do with good 
or poor warfare. To lead wars, to build industries, to wave flags, to march in parades, these and other things are 
child's play compared with the task of establishing a free humanity. Where warriordom and chauvinistic 
patriotism reign, friend and enemy soon find a common meeting ground. There is no such confusion as that about 
the concept of "freedom." Let us take our orientation from the statements of a militaristic disciplinarian, a man 
who would fight with the same subjective honesty and conviction for an America striving toward democracy as 
for one developing toward fascism. In 1943, Captain Rickenbacker made an official visit to the Soviet Union. 
After his return, the New York Times of August 18th reported his impressions: 

. . . Captain Rickenbacker remarked that whereas for the last several years Russia has been moving to the right, the United States, at 
the same time, has been "tending to the left." 

"If they keep going on as they are you'll find Russia coming out of this war the greatest democracy in the world, while if we keep 
going on the way we are we'll be where they were twenty-five years ago," he declared. 

"Do you mean to suggest that Russia is moving toward capitalism while we are moving toward Bolshevism?" Captain 
Rickenbacker was asked. 

"Yes, in a sense," he replied. 

. . . Among the things he was particularly impressed with in Russia was the iron discipline in industrial plants, severe punishment 
for chronic absenteeism, to the extent of removal from the job to the bread line, incentive pay, compulsory overtime work and "no 
labor difficul-[263]ties." The Russians, Captain Rickenbacker said, work eight hours a day, six days a week, with an additional 
three hours a day overtime at time and one -half . . . 

"... Bolshevism in Russia is not what we have been led to believe by communistic enthusiasts in this country. They have been 
constantly turning to the right, as evidenced in many ways, during the last twelve months. Nowhere in the world have I seen so much 
respect for progressive rank in the Army as I witnessed in Russia from the bottom to the top, which is in the direction of capitalism 
and democracy. Officers' uniforms have in great measure been copied from the old Czaristic design, and the press is selling pre- 
revolutionary heroes to the people." 

We have learned to listen to conservative voices, to understand them and to acknowledge their facts. At the same 
time we have learned to understand how conservative facts and reactionary developments arise from the biopathy 
of the masses. We differ from a reactionary disciplinarian like Rickenbacker in that we do not gloat over the facts 
but look for the natural processes the suppression of which makes the statements of the disciplinarian correct. If 
by democracy in the Soviet Union is meant that which Rickenbacker describes, we do not want to have anything 
to do with it. One cannot equate "capitalism" and "democracy." One cannot infer democracy from military 
prowess. One cannot praise the Soviet Union of today and at the same time refute the development of social 
democracy in Russia in Lenin's time without creating utter confusion. One must, first of all, know the history of a 
country and the bitter struggle for liberation from slavery, if one is not to make statements as inane as the ones 
quoted above. Rickenbacker recommends the Soviet Union of 1943 as a shining example for America. He does so 
because he is annoyed by absenteeism in American factories. He is impressed by the facility with which a 
dictatorship seems to master social problems. Why then, we ask, all the talk about freedom, about a war for 
freedom, about a New World? This utter confusion is a result of the rule of the politicos. 





All over the world, social conditions are again in a state of flux. The fall of the Italian leader of political 
irrationalism has introduced this process. Sooner or later, it will be followed by the fall of German political 

irrationalism. The process of social reconstruction in Europe will begin with a vacuum in social life which will 
manifest itself primarily in political chaos. If there is to be a way out of this chaos, two things must be established 
in time: the duty of the working individuals in all vital occupations to take an active part in the social process; and 
rational organizations for the mastery of the social chaos. We cannot assume that any of the old political parties or 
any new ones which may be formed will be capable of bringing about a factual and rational new social order. It is 
necessary, therefore, that, as soon as circumstances permit, the outstanding and politically independent 
representatives of all vital branches of work gather in national and international conferences. It is the task of these 
representatives of work to discuss and solve, in a work-democratic manner, the practical problems of individual 
and social life for which they are responsible. Once such strictly practical and unpolitical work conferences have 
started to function, events will shape themselves according to the logic and consistency which are inherent in 
factual and rational work. A thing which has become clear long ago, independently in various places in Europe 
and America, is this: the responsibility for all future development can rest only and alone on vitally necessary 
work and, consequently, on the 

* First published in International Journal of Sex-economy and Orgone-Research 2, 1943, 93-96. 

[265] shoulders of its representatives, and not on any merely ideologically oriented bodies. 

What is "Work Democracy?" Work democracy is the natural process of love, work and knowledge which has 
always governed economy and the social and cultural life of man and always will, as long as there is a human 
society. Work democracy is the sum total of all naturally developed and developing life functions which 
organically govern rational human relationships. 

Work democracy is not an ideological system. Nor is it a "political" system which could be imposed on society 
by the propaganda of parties, individual politicians or ideological groups. There is not a single formal or political 
measure by which work democracy could be "established." One cannot establish work democracy the way one 
establishes a republic or a totalitarian dictatorship. The reason for this is simple: 

Natural work democracy exists and is in constant operation, no matter whether this or that political party or 
ideological group knows about its existence or not. The process of natural work democracy may be strictly at 
variance with existing social institutions, or it may be more or less identical with them. This work-democratic 
process requires that social ideologies and institutions be brought into harmony with the natural needs and human 
relationships as they express themselves clearly in natural love, in vitally necessary work and in scientific search. 
These living social functions can be hindered or they can be furthered; the working individual may be conscious 
of them or not. But they cannot ever be destroyed. For this reason, they form the solid and only rational basis of 
any rational social process. 

Political ideological systems are based on conceptions of the natural life process. They may further or hinder the 
natural life process. They themselves, however, do not function at the roots of the social process. They may be 
democratic; in that case they further the natural human life process. They may be authoritarian and dictatorial; in 
that case they are its deadly enemy. 

Work democracy cannot be imposed on people as a political system. It depends on the consciousness on the part 
of the working [266] people in all professions of their responsibility for the social process. This consciousness 
may be present or it may grow in an organic manner, like a tree or an animal organism. The growth of this 
consciousness of social responsibility is the most important prerequisite for the prevention of the cancer-like 
growth of political systems in the social organism. If they are allowed to grow, they will sooner or later bring 
about social chaos. Furthermore, such consciousness of responsibility alone will, in the course of time, bring the 
institutions of human society into harmony with the natural functions of work democracy. Political systems come 
and go without stopping or fundamentally changing the social process. But the pulse of human society would stop 
and not return should the natural life functions of love, work and knowledge cease for only one day. 

Natural love, vitally necessary work and scientific search are rational life functions. They can inherently be 

nothing but rational. Consequently, they are diametrically opposed to any kind of irrationalism. Political 
irrationalism which infests, deforms and destroys our lives, is — in the strictly psychiatric sense — a perversion of 
social life, caused by the ostracizing of the natural life functions and by their exclusion from the determination of 
social life. 

Any kind of totalitarian and authoritarian regime is based on the irrationalism which the masses of people have 
inevitably acquired as a result of their upbringing. Any dictatorial political ideology, by whomsoever it may be 
advocated, hates and fears its deadly enemy, the functions of love, work and knowledge. The two cannot exist 
side by side. The dictatorial regime can only suppress the natural life functions or exploit them for its own 
purposes; it can never further them without digging its own grave. From this it follows: 

1. To establish new, artificial, political systems would be not only unnecessary; it would be catastrophic. What is 
necessary is that the determination of the social process be given over to the natural life functions. Nothing new 
has to be created; all that has to be done is to eliminate the obstacles which stand in the way of the natural social 

[267] 2. The ones to represent these natural life functions are the best workers in all of the vitally necessary 
professions. They function in a work-democratic manner not on the strength of any personal political inclinations, 
but simply on the strength of their activity as industrial workers, farmers, teachers, physicians, writers, 
administrators, technicians, scientists, etc. The gathering of the representatives of vitally necessary work into an 
international body with socially and legally recognized factual authority would be invincible and would mean the 
end of international political irrationalism. 

3. Social production and consumption are interlaced in a natural, organic manner. Organizations which would 
express this natural interlacing in a practical manner would be a solid guarantee against further catastrophes 
produced by irrationalism. The responsibility for the gratification of human needs would rest exclusively with the 
consumers and producers and would not be imposed on them — against their will and in spite of their protests — by 
an authoritarian government. This responsibility for one's own fate, as it is already at work in the existing 
organizations of consumption and production, would be a decisive step in the direction of establishing a work- 
democratic self-administration of society. Since all work processes are dependent on each other and are 
organically interlaced, and since, furthermore, consumption determines production, there already exists, in the 
basic social process, a naturally developed and organically functioning organization; this alone will be able to 
safeguard the further social development of Europe. 

4. Natural work democracy is politically neither "left" nor "right." It embraces anyone who does vital work; for 
this reason, its orientation is only and alone forward. It has no inherent intention of being against ideologies, 
including political ideologies. On the other hand, if it is to function, it will be forced to take a firm stand, on a 
factual basis, against any ideology or political party which puts irrational obstacles in its path. Yet, basically, 
work democracy is not "against," as is the rule with politics, but "for"; for the formulation and solution of 
concrete tasks. 

What is new in work democracy? Neither the idea that democ-[268]racy is the best possible form of social living 
nor the idea that work and consumption are the natural basis of social existence. Neither its anti-dictatorial 
orientation, or its will to fight for the natural rights of all working individuals of all nations. All these demands, 
ideals and programs have been advocated for centuries in liberal, socialist, early communist and other political 

What is new in work democracy is that its exponents neither founded political parties in order to enforce a work- 
democratic organization, nor were content with a mere ideological reiteration of these old demands, ideals and 
programs. What is new is that the work democrats asked themselves, scientifically, why it was that thus far all 
democratic demands, ideals and programs have failed and, both in Europe and Asia, had to give way to 
reactionary dictatorships. 

What is new in work democracy is: that for the first time in the history of sociology a possible future order of 
human society is deduced not from ideologies or from conditions yet to be created, but from processes which are 

naturally given and which have always been in operation. What is new in it is the renunciation and rejection of 
any kind of politics and demagogy. New is that, instead of the working masses of people being relieved of social 
responsibility, they are being burdened with it. Further, that the work democrats have no political ambitions nor 
are allowed to develop any. Further, that it consciously develops formal democracy — which means merely the 
voting for ideological representatives without any further responsibility on the part of the voter — into genuine, 
factual and practical democracy on an international scale; a democracy which is borne, in progressive organic 
development, by the functions of love, work and knowledge. Further, that it fights mysticism and the idea of the 
totalitarian state not by an ideology, but by practical life functions governed by their own natural laws. 

Work democracy introduces into liberal thinking a decisive new insight: the working masses who carry the 
burden of social existence are not conscious of their social responsibility. Nor are [269] they — as the result of 
thousands of years of suppression of rational thinking, of the natural love function and of the scientific 
comprehension of living functioning — capable of the responsibility for their own freedom. Another insight 
contributed by work democracy is the finding that politics is in itself and of necessity unscientific: it is an 
expression of human helplessness, impoverishment and suppression. 

In brief, work democracy is not a political program, but a newly discovered basic biosociological function of 



1 . Our interest in the development of freedom. 

This article will demonstrate a miscalculation which, as history shows, all movements for freedom thus far have 
made; a miscalculation which either nipped such movements in the bud or else brought to nothing what had 
already been achieved. These considerations are based on the conviction that only a work democracy can create 
the foundation of genuine freedom. Long experience in sociological disputes leads me to expect that a great many 
people will take offense at the disclosure of this miscalculation. It makes the highest demands on people's will to 
veracity; it puts a heavy burden on everyday living; it places all social responsibility on those who work, be it in 
the factory, in the office, on the farm, in the laboratory, or wherever. 

Facts of a fundamental nature, that is, facts which — beyond the political noise of today — concern the history or 
even the biological constitution of humanity, such facts, experience shows, are always being refuted. They are 
being refuted with all kinds of arguments, but basically always on irrational grounds. As long as there is peace, as 
long as everything runs its usual course, the argument goes somewhat like this: "Everything is all right anyhow, 
the League of Nations sees to it that peace continues, the diplomats straighten out what international difficulties 
there may be, and 

* First published in International Journal of Sex-economy and Orgone-Research 2, 1943, 97-121. 

[270] the generals are only figureheads. So, why bring up problems which would be of importance only in the 
event of war? We've just finished a war to end all wars, so why get excited?" Once such arguments have been 
shown to be illusions, once the League of Nations and diplomacy have failed, once a new war has broken out, this 
time more worldembracing and more brutal than anything history has ever seen, then all attention is concentrated 
on winning this war. Then the argument runs: "First of all we've got to win the war. This is no time for any 
fundamental truths. To those we'll pay attention when the war is won, when the time comes to consider the 
peace." That is, one makes a neat distinction between waging a war, winning a war and winning the peace. What 
is overlooked is that it is exactly during a war that those deep social tremblings take place which destroy old 
institutions and change human beings, in other words, that the germs of the peace ripen in the devastations of the 
war. The human longing for peace is never so strong as it is during a war. In no other condition of society, 
therefore, are there such strong impulses to do away with the conditions that make for war. People learned to 

build dams when they suffered from floods. Peace can be built only during the war, then and there. 

But instead of learning in time the lessons of the war for building a new world, important decisions are 
postponed until the diplomats and statesmen are so busy with peace negotiations and reparations that again there 
is no time for "fundamental facts." For the argument during the transition period from war to pseudo-peace is, 
"First of all the war damages have to be repaired; the factories must be converted from war to peace production; 
we have no time now. Let us postpone the problem until we have again arranged everything for peace." In the 
meantime, the lessons of the war have been forgotten and everything becomes once more arranged in such a 
manner that within one other generation there will be another, even more terrible war, bringing with it the old 
"busyness" and the "lack of time" for occupying oneself with "fundamental problems." The war emotions are 
soon replaced by the old rigidity and emotional inertia. 

[271] If one, like myself, has experienced this busyness and these arguments for a second time in the course of a 
life of 45 years; if in the new catastrophe one recognizes every trait of the old one; if one has to admit reluctantly 
that nothing has changed basically since the first catastrophe (except the improvement in destructive war 
technique and a more comprehensive development of human sadisms); then one cannot in the long run escape the 
conclusion: For some peculiar reason, the masses of the people do not want to get to the bottom of the secret of 
what makes wars, they are afraid of the truths which might bring the cure. 

People are wont to consider a war as a "social thunderstorm" which "clears the atmosphere." They say it has 
great advantages. It "builds character," it "makes men out of the boys," etc. Furthermore, they say, there always 
have been wars and there always will be. They are biological facts; Darwin found that there is a "survival of the 
fittest." If that is so, why organize peace conferences? Incidentally, I have never heard that the bears or squirrels 
split into two camps and go about destroying each other. There are, in the animal world, no wars between 
members of the same species. War among members of the same species is, like sadism, an acquisition of "civilized 
man." There can be no doubt: for some reason humans avoid tracking down the causes of wars. There are, no 
doubt, better ways of making youth healthy and strong than wars: such as a healthy love life, enjoyable and 
secure work, sports, and freedom from the gossip-mongering of spinsters of all kinds. All such arguments in favor 
of war are empty irrational talk. 

What is the fact people are afraid of? And why are they afraid of it? Could it be that everybody secretly knows 
this fact and is simply afraid to acknowledge it to himself as well as to others? 

The fact is this: As a result of thousands of years of social and educational warping, the masses of the people 
have become biologically rigid and incapable of freedom. They are no longer capable of organizing a peaceful 

This finding answers the above questions. It sounds hopeless and contemptuous. Nobody wants to hear this or to 
take cogni-[272]zance of it. No statesman would know what to do with it. Yet, every honest person knows it. The 
dictators, without exception, have built their power on the social irresponsibility of the masses. They have 
exploited it consciously and have made no bones about it. The German masses have been told for years that the 
masses only give out what is put into them. They reacted to this by becoming servile followers. They themselves 
brought about the infamous situation. It would be nonsense to assert that the Psychopath General alone could 
have conquered 70 million people. 

"What," the politicos and the saviors will ask, "you call Americans incapable of freedom? And what about the 
heroic rebels in Czechoslovakia and Jugoslavia, the British Commandos, the Norwegian heroes, the Russian 
armies? How dare you thus offend the democracies?" 

We do not mean military groups, governments, minorities, individual scientists or thinkers. When we speak of 
genuine social freedom, it is not a matter of this or that group. The history of society is determined exclusively by 
the overwhelming majority of the working individuals, be it that they passively tolerate tyranny, be it that they 
actively support it. Are the masses of people capable of administering society, without being told by politicians or 
parties what they should do, and how? True, the masses are capable of enjoying freedoms which have already 
been given them, to do the work which is laid out for them, to be for or against war. But thus far they have not 

been able to protect work against exploitation, to organize the work process themselves, to further pioneer work, 
to prevent wars, to master their own irrationalism, etc. 

They are incapable of doing all these things because they have never been in a position to acquire and develop 
this capability. There is no other answer to this war than self-government of the masses in producers' and 
consumers' organizations. If one takes the masses seriously, one must ask for their full responsibility, because 
they have only peaceful intentions. Love of peace must be complemented by the capacity for responsible freedom. 

This is a painful bit of truth: Fascism, in the form of irresponsi-[273]bility, is present in the masses of all 
countries, nations and races. Fascism is the result of thousands of years of warping of the human structure. It 
could have developed in any nation. It is not a specific German or Italian character trait. It works in every mortal. 
It is expressed in the Austrian, "Da kann man halt nix machen," just as in the American, "Let George do it." The 
circumstance that it is due to a prolonged social development does not change this fact; "historical developments" 
cannot be blamed instead of living humans. Shifting the responsibility from the living human to the "historical 
development" is what destroyed the Socialist freedom movement. The events of the past 20 years call for the 
assumption of responsibility by the working masses of the people. 

If "freedom" means, first of all, the responsibility of every individual for the rational determination of his own 
personal, professional and social existence, then there is no greater fear than that of the establishment of general 
freedom. Without a thoroughgoing solution of this problem there never will be a peace lasting longer than one or 
two generations. To solve this problem on a social scale, it will take more thinking, more honesty and decency, 
more conscientiousness, more economic, social and educational changes in social mass living than all the efforts 
made in previous and future wars and post-war reconstruction programs taken together. This one problem and its 
solution contain everything that the most courageous thinkers in history have tried to comprehend in terms of 
international social revolution. The world is suffering a gigantic social revolution. But when the suffering is 
inevitable, we should see to it that the "blood, sweat, and tears" have a rational goal. This goal is: responsibility of 
the working masses of people for social life. This follows with inescapable logic from the following facts: 

a) The social process is entirely determined by the working masses; 

b) The masses are incapable of freedom; 

c) Achievement of the capacity for freedom on the part of the masses, by their own effort, means genuine social 

[274] What, the reader may ask, causes me to relinquish the usual habit of covering up such generally known 
facts, particularly since I do not have any aspirations to political leadership? 

There are several motives for doing so. For years I fought against giving in to them, simply for fear of the 
results. I have again and again postponed the writing down of these facts. I tried to get out of it by telling myself 
that, after all, I am not a politician and political events are none of my business; or by telling myself that I was 
more than fully occupied with my research in orgone biophysics, so why should I burden myself, in addition, with 
a painful, thankless and, at the present time, hopeless social problem? I tried to convince myself that perhaps I did 
have political ambitions which tempted me to get mixed up with political, irrational ideologies; and to such 
ambitions I did not want to yield. I could leave it to the responsible politicians and statesmen to come out with 
these facts. 

After years of painful conflict and attempts to avoid these facts, I finally had to yield to the pressure which is 
exerted upon me, as well as upon my co-workers, by our research. There is a duty to express truths with which no 
other of the highly esteemed duties can compare. The performance of this duty is made so difficult by the fact 
that, as things are, the utterance of such truths, instead of being a matter of fact, becomes extremely dangerous. 
Fundamentally, it is only a matter of summarizing and combining facts which, individually, have been known for 
a long time: 

a) Humanity is biologically sick; 

b) Politics is an irrational social expression of this illness; 

c) Whatever happens in social life is determined by the structure of the masses, be it actively or passively, 

intended or unintended; 

d) This character structure owes its existence to socio-economic processes and it anchors and perpetuates these 
processes. The biopathic human character structure is nothing but the solidification of the authoritarian historical 
process, nothing but bio-physiologically reproduced mass suppression; 

[275] e) Human structure is determined by the conflict between longing for freedom and fear of freedom; 

f) The fear of freedom of the masses of people is biophysically anchored in the rigidity of the character and the 
total organism; 

g) Any variety of social leadership is nothing but the social expression of one or the other side of this human 
mass structure; 

h) It is not a matter of such things as the treaty of Versailles, the oil wells of Baku, or of 2-300 years of 
capitalism. It is a matter of 4-6000 years of authoritarian mechanistic civilization which has ruined human 
biological functioning; 

i) Money and power interests are substitutes for happiness in love, maintained by the biological rigidity of the 
human masses; 

k) The suppression of the natural sex life of children and adolescents serves the function of structuring people 
who are willing bearers and re-producers of a mechanistic authoritarian civilization; 

1) Thousands of years of human suppression have come into a state of flux and upheaval. 

Based on our character research, our interest in a free development of the world is threefold: personal, 
professional and social: 

1. The personal interest is determined by the threat to our existence as members of this sick society. Anyone 
who, like myself, lost in the first world war his home, family and fortune, witnessed over three years of 
murderous warfare, saw many of his friends perish, etc., knows what millions and millions of people have to go 
through today. We want to see an end to this outrage. It is an outrage that a handful of Prussian gangsters and 
perverse neurotics, who play this or that "Fiihrer" role, are in a position to exploit the social helplessness of 
hundreds of millions of decent and industrious people. The outrage is all the worse in that these same 
millions — not alone in Germany — unknowingly and naively put the power into the hands of the political 
swindlers. All we want is to be able to do our work in peace, to love our women or men without danger, to bring 
up our children without the influences of the emotional plague, in brief, we do not want to be disturbed and 
deceived in this short life of ours by a handful of [276] political thieves. We no longer want our lives ruined by 

2. The bearers of the fascist pestilence have realized the incapacity of the masses for freedom and contend that it 
is a biological, and thus unalterable, fact. They have put into circulation irrational, but deceptive, race theories 
which divide humanity into biologically superior and inferior races; themselves, the sickest of them all, they have 
designated as biological, racial "Ubermenschen." We have the answer to this fraud: The race theory is a mystical 
philosophy. Happiness in natural love and security in life for the human masses will do away with it. 

3. Our Institute, with its physicians, teachers and research groups, is confronted with a fantastic task. We must 
be prepared for two basically different eventualities: 

a) This second world war may, after all, bring the answer to the existing social chaos into the consciousness of 
society. In that case, we would be called to great tasks and would have to assume a tremendous responsibility. For 
such an eventuality, one has to be prepared. One has to have an idea of the tasks that would present themselves. 
One must have coordinated one's knowledge of human reactions and the effects of the fascist pestilence if one is 
not to fail. Such tasks can be undertaken only and alone within the framework of the general struggle for the 
establishment of genuine freedom. If we were under the illusion that people have a structure adapted to freedom, 
that they are capable at any time of determining their lives themselves, that, in other words, all that is needed is 
the elimination of the fascist party — then, undoubtedly, we would perish along with everything else that is based 
on such an illusion. The development of freedom requires that one shed all illusions. Only then will it be possible 
to eradicate the irrationalism in the masses and to develop their capacity for responsibility and freedom. The 

idealization as well as the commiseration of the masses will only lead to ever new disasters. 

The liberal organizations of all kinds in Europe showed an attitude toward this disease comparable to that of the 
quack who tells a paralyzed patient that, really, he is not paralyzed, that he could get up and dance a waltz if there 
only weren't the big bad [277] wolf (in 1914 it was the munitions industry, in 1942 it is the Psychopath General). 
The paralyzed patient may be glad to hear this, but it will not enable him to walk. The decent physician would 
proceed "brutally"; he would carefully avoid giving the patient any false hopes. He would, with all the means at 
his disposal, try to find out the nature of the paralysis and determine whether it were curable or not. If it were 
curable, he would find the means of effecting the cure. 

The fascist dictators declare the masses to be biologically inferior and craving authority, that is, slaves by 
nature; thus, they say, any other than an authoritarian dictatorial regime is out of the question for them. It is 
significant that all dictators of today come from the class of the suppressed masses. They know this disease of the 
masses very well. What they lack, however, is the insight into natural development, and the will to truth and 
search; thus, they would never think of changing these conditions. 

The leaders of formal democracy, on the other hand, believed, in an illusory way, in the masses' capacity for 
freedom; thus, they relinquished any possibility of ever bringing about the capacity for freedom and self- 
responsibility in the masses, as long as they were in power. The catastrophe has swallowed them and they will not 

Our answer to the problem is scientifically rational. It is based on the recognition of people's incapacity for 
freedom. This fact, however, is not conceived of as absolute, as biologically, naturally determined as it is in the 
mysticism of the race theory, but as the result of old social conditions, and therefore as alterable. From this, two 
important tasks inevitably follow: 

1 . The study and classification of the various forms in which human incapacity for freedom expresses itself; 

2. The study and elaboration of those medical, pedagogic and social tools which would enable us to evolve the 
capacity for freedom. 

In this connection, people will mention all the various "mistakes" of the democratic governments: the pacts with 
dictators; the many betrayals of democratic comrades (England — Spain, [278] Russia — Czechoslovakia, etc.); the 
placing of business interests before principles (Russian oil for Italy during the Ethiopian war, Mexican oil for 
Germany during the Spanish anti-Fascist war, Swedish iron for Nazi Germany, American iron, oil, etc., for 
Japan); the English attitude in Burma and India; the religious mystical attitude of Socialists and Communists, etc. 
But these "mistakes" dwindle in importance compared with the mistakes of the masses of people, their social 
apathy, their passivity, their craving for authority, their willingness to delegate responsibility, etc. Again and 
again: the working masses of people alone are responsible for everything that happens, good or bad. They are not 
only the chief sufferers but also the chief creators of the war. For this reason, the working masses are also the 
only ones who can establish lasting peace. The essential prerequisite for this is the eradication of the incapacity 
for freedom. This can be achieved only by the masses themselves. In order to become capable of freedom, and 
capable of building a lasting peace, the masses will have to have social power. This is the conflict and its only 
possible solution. 

b) On the other hand, the outcome of this war may not bring the fundamental facts to the surface of social 
consciousness, and the old illusions may continue to flourish. In that case, little will change in our present 
situation. In that case, the illusory "pills," the formal freedoms, the formal enjoyments and the formal 
democracies will soon give birth to new dictatorships and a new war. In that case, we will have to continue to 
exist in "isolation" and in opposition to the existing social order and its misery. This will not make the task any 
easier. We will have to continue to exist, personally and professionally honest, in a framework of illusory beliefs. 
The task of preserving unadulterated one's knowledge about human nature, and of deepening it, is in itself a 
heavy struggle under these circumstances. It will not be easy for the workers in the fields of orgone biophysics, 
structural psychology and sex-economy to keep themselves uninfluenced by the prevailing illusions and to 
preserve their knowledge clear and intact for coming generations. But, though they are not rewarded by the [279] 

world with anything but opposition and defamation, they must, nevertheless, do so. For their knowledge must be 
available, in a practically usable form, when, maybe after the sixth, maybe after the twentieth world war, the 
insight into the emotional mass pestilence will make itself felt. In that case, we shall not hand down to our 
descendants any glorious feats or "heroic memories," but a piece of knowledge which, though simple and 
unspectacular, has a future. This task can be fulfilled even under the worst of social conditions. That generation 
which will be ready to master the emotional plague shall not fail if it can be helped; it shall not be compelled first 
to gather laboriously the answers to the arguments of the pestilence. It shall be enabled to fall back on old, 
though neglected, truths and to arrange the lives of its members more honestly and decently than is possible now. 

At this point, many a friend will ask: "Why, on God's earth, don't you fight for social power in order to get 
recognition for the important truth you have discovered? If you contend that you know vital facts, is it not 
cowardly to sit there in political inactivity? Why don't you fight for positions as directors of education or public 
health, as politicians and statesmen?" 

We understand this argument. Many of us have struggled with it ourselves, again and again. It has been the 
cause of many a sleepless night. If one is confronted with this problem in a concrete form, one runs into the 
following dilemma: 

Truths without the power of putting them into practice are of no avail. They remain academic. 

Power without a basis in truth, whatever kind of power it may be, is dictatorship. It may be so more or less, in 
this way or that, but it always is dictatorship, because it is based on the human fear of social responsibility and of 
the personal burden which "freedom" imposes on one. 

Dictatorial power and truth do not go together. They are mutually exclusive. 

It is a historical fact that truth died every time its advocates attained social power. "Power" always means the 
subjugation of others. Truths, however, can never be established by subjugation [280] but only by conviction. 
This was proved by the French as well as the Russian revolution. Not one of those truths survived as much as a 
few decades. Jesus advocated a truth which at his time was tremendous. It died in the Christian world as soon as 
his place was taken by the popes. Deep insights into the human misery of 2000 years ago were replaced by 
formulae, the rough cowl by the golden ornaments; the rebellion against the suppression of the poor was replaced 
by the holding out of hopes for happiness in a hereafter. The great truths of the French revolution died in the 
French republic and ended in politics, in the ignorance of a Petain and the business deals of a Laval. The truths of 
Marxian economics died in the Russian revolution when the word "society" came to be replaced by the word 
"state," when the attitude of international humanity was replaced by nationalistic patriotism and the pact with 
Hitler. These same truths died in Germany, Austria and Scandinavia, even though the successors to the great 
European fighters for freedom had all the social powers in their hands. Less than a hundred years after the birth of 
the great truths of '48, the worst product of age-old irrationalism is in power. Power and truth do not go together. 
This is a brutal, unfortunate truth. 

True, those of us who have had political experience could attain power as easily as any politico. But we have no 
time for it; we have more important things to do. And if we did so, the truths which we hold sacred would 
undoubtedly go to ruin. In order to obtain power one has to fill the millions with illusions. Even Lenin gained the 
support of the millions of Russian peasants, without whom the Russian revolution would have been impossible, 
on the basis of a watchword which was at variance with the real, collectivistic aims of the Russian party. The 
watchword was: "Take the land away from the large landowners. It will be your own individual possession." The 
peasants followed. They would have refused to follow if they had been told in 1917 that one day the land would 
be made collective. This was shown by the hard struggle for the collectivization of the Russian farm industry in 
1930. There are, in social life, degrees of power and [281] degrees of lying. The more truthful the masses, the less 
despotism; conversely, the fuller the masses are of irrational illusions, the more comprehensive and the more 
brutal is the despotism of groups or individuals. 

To try to win the masses with the contention that it is they themselves and not individual psychopaths who are to 
be blamed for the social misery; that they themselves, and not some self-declared or elected leader or leaders, 

carry the responsibility for their own lives; that they themselves and nobody else are responsible for all that goes 
on in the world — that would be a different thing. It is so much at variance with all that the masses have heard and 
have made part of themselves that it would be inane to try to obtain power by way of such truths. 

However, it is entirely conceivable that the world catastrophe will reach a stage in which the masses of people 
will be forced to realize their social behavior, where they will be forced to change their ways and to take over 
themselves the heavy burden of social responsibility. When that stage of social development is reached, however, 
they themselves will obtain power and will refute any individuals or groups who claim to fight for power "in the 
interests of the masses." Thus, there is no reason for us to try to fight for power. 

But if and when the masses will have reached this stage of rational re-orientation, we can be sure that then they 
will need us and will entrust us with important functions. Then we shall be a part of these masses. Not their 
Fiihrer, not their elected representatives, not the ones who, from some elevated position, tell them what to do. No, 
the masses will — as was the case many years ago in Germany and Austria — come by the thousands to our clinics, 
talks and scientific demonstrations in order to get answers to central questions of living. This, however, only if we 
shall have succeeded in remaining honest. They will not come with the expectation or the demand that we should 
tell them how to solve their own problems. For as soon as the masses themselves have to carry the responsibility 
for the social process they will inevitably come up against their own weaknesses, against [282] that which was 
handed down to them by the past, in brief, against those facts in their own structure, their thinking and feeling 
which we have summarized in the concept of "incapacity for freedom." And we shall gladly fulfil the social 
function of disclosing the mechanisms of this incapacity for freedom and of all inhibitions of free development to 
the best of our ability in order to aid this mass development in the direction of genuine freedom. 

For that, we need no power. The confidence of people — regardless of their age, profession, color or 
ideology — in our absolute integrity as physicians, researchers, educators, social workers, biologists, physicists, 
technicians, etc., this confidence will provide a much more solid basis than all the power which politicians ever 
achieved. This confidence will be the greater the better our scientific and practical activity reflects reality. This 
confidence cannot be forced; it develops by itself if one does no more than adhere honestly to one's work. The 
worst thing we could do would be to adjust our knowledge to the prevailing mass thinking with the objective of 
"gaining influence." The general confidence in our knowledge and activities can arise only out of the maturation 
of a general knowledge about the nature of the emotional pestilence. 

If ever we are called upon, it will be a sign that self-determination in social life is becoming a reality, that the 
will to fundamental veracity and to fruitful self-criticism is awakening in the masses. Since our organization is the 
only one which sees through the irrationalism of politics and the old ideologies, this must of necessity be so. 
Conversely, the fact that we must remain in the "opposition" will show us with certainty that society has not 
reached the stage where it can see through the irrationalism in its doings and set about eliminating it. In that case, 
power would be of no avail to us; if we tried to achieve it we would only ourselves deteriorate irrationally. 

This conscious renunciation of power should not lead anybody to underestimate our work. We are not playing 
any role, such as that of the "modest," "unassuming" scientist. Our work takes place at the very roots of life, along 
the line of fundamental [283] natural science. False modesty in this case would inevitably do harm to the work 
itself. True, "orgastic potency" sounds insignificant beside "Dneprostroy" or "Boulder Dam," "character armor" 
sounds unimportant beside "blackout," and "orgone" sounds academic beside "Bataan" and "Tobruk." It does, 
from the point of view of today. But what remained of Alexander the Great, compared with Kepler's laws? What 
of Caesar, compared with the laws of mechanics? What of Napoleon's campaigns compared with the discovery of 
the micro-organisms or of unconscious psychic life? And what will remain of the Psychopath General, compared 
with the cosmic orgone energy? 

Renunciation of power does not mean renunciation of rational guidance of human existence. Only the effect is of 
a different nature: in the long run, deep and revolutionary, true and life-positive; it makes no difference whether 
the effects will be felt tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. It will be the responsibility of the working masses of 
people to gather the fruits of new knowledge today instead of the day after tomorrow. They have no less 

responsibility for their own life and their own activities than the individual shoemaker for the shoe, the physician 
for the patient, the scientist for his findings, or the contractor for his buildings. We do not want to take part either 
in the gestures of saving people or in pitying them. We take people seriously. When they need us, they will call 
us. We shall be there. But we refuse to fight for power to impose our knowledge on people. 

2. Biological rigidity, incapacity for freedom and authoritarian mechanistic life concept. 

We are confronted by the incontrovertible fact that never in the history of human society have the masses been 
able to preserve, to organize and to develop the peace and freedom which they gained in bloody struggles. What 
is meant here by freedom is the genuine freedom of personal and social development, the freedom from fear of 
life, from economic suppression of any kind, from reactionary inhibitions of development; in brief, the free self- 
determination of life. We should not have any illusions about it: There is at work, in the masses, a reactionary, 
murderous, [284] development-inhibiting force which brings to ruin again and again all the efforts made by the 
fighters for freedom. 

This reactionary force in the masses expresses itself in a general fear of responsibility and fear of freedom. 
These are no moral judgments. This fear is deeply rooted in the biological constitution of man of today. Not, 
however, in a constitution which, as the Fascist believes, is the very "nature" of man, but in a constitution which 
has a historical development and therefore is alterable. It is not easy to present in a few sentences the social role 
of the fear of freedom. I shall proceed from a newspaper report by James Aldridge, published in the New York 
Times of June 24, 1942, under the headline, BRITISH IN AFRICA LACK KILLER URGE: 

The German Afrika Corps defeated the Eighth Army because it had speed, anger, virility and toughness. As soldiers in the 
traditional sense, the Germans are punk, absolutely punk. But Marschall Erwin Rommel and his gang are angry men, they are tough 
to the point of stupidity. They are virile and fast, they are thugs with little or no imagination. They are practical men, taken from a 
most practical and hard life to fight practically: Nazis are trained to kill. The German commanders are scientists, who are continually 
experimenting with and improving the hard, mathematical formula of killing. They are trained as mathematicians, engineers and 
chemists facing complicated problems. There is no art in it, there is no imagination. War is pure physics to them. The German 
soldier is trained with a psychology of the dare-devil track-rider. He is a professional killer, with no distractions. He believes he is 
the toughest man on earth. Actually, he cracks very easily and is not so tough, and can be beaten soundly and quickly by a foe using 
the same ruthless speedy methods he uses . . . The British soldier is the most heroic on earth, but do not confuse that with military 
toughness. He has the toughness of determination but he has not the toughness which makes him scientifically kill his enemy. 

This is the best description of mechanical militarism I have yet come across. It reveals clearly the complete 
identity of mechanistic natural science, mechanical human structure and sadistic murdering. This identity has 
found its sublime and unsurpassable [285] expression in the German ideology of totalitarian dictatorship. This 
mechanistic trinity is opposed by that other view of life which does not consider man as a machine, or the 
machine the master of man or militarism his highest ornament. This living functional view has found its last 
refuge in the Western democracies. Whether it will survive the chaos remains to be seen. 

It may sound peculiar to the ears of a general, but I contend that the defeats suffered by the democracies, as 
tragic and as dangerous as they were, were the sign of a deep humanity which is the exact opposite of mechanical 
automatism: the valuation of human life. Aldridge is wrong in reproaching the democratic military leaders with 
trying to save lives, in contradistinction to the machine men. He is wrong when he demands that the antifascist 
fighters learn to kill in a still more mechanical, automatic, scientific way than the Prussian automaton. If one tries 
to beat the automatons with their own weapons one will, in the process of murdering still more scientificially, 
oneself become an automaton and will onese/fperpetuate what the enemy set in motion. In this process, the last 
vestiges of all living hopes for a different, lastingly peaceful human society will perish. 

The way of the anti-fascist struggle is a different one. It is the way of a clear, ruthless recognition of the 
historical and biological factors which lead to such murdering. Only this recognition, and not the imitation of 
fascist methods, will lead to the extermination of the fascist pestilence. One cannot vanquish fascism by imitating 
or surpassing its methods without, intentionally or unintentionally, degenerating fascistically oneself. The way of 
fascism is the way of the machine, the dead, the rigid, the hopeless. The way of life is fundamentally different, 

more difficult, more dangerous, more honest and more hopeful. 

Let us proceed from the question of the day to the one question: How can such a complete functional identity of 
machine, man, and scientific murdering come about? This question leads far away from such questions as 
whether our shipbuilding equals the sinkings by U-boats, or whether the machine monster is going to reach the 
Baku oil wells. We do not minimize the importance [286] of these questions of the day. Naturally, when my 
house catches fire, the first thing I do is to try to save as many of my manuscripts, books and instruments as 
possible. But sooner or later I shall have to build a new house, and in order to prevent a new catastrophe I shall 
have to think hard to find out what caused the fire in the old house. 

MAN IS FUNDAMENTALLY AN ANIMAL. Animals, as distinct from man, are not machine-like, not 
sadistic; their societies, within the same species, are incomparably more peaceful than those of man. The basic 
question, then is: What has made the animal, man, degenerate into a machine? 

When I say "animal," I do not mean anything bad, cruel or "base"; I am stating a biological fact. Man has 
developed the peculiar concept that he is not an animal at all, but, well — man; a creature which long since has 
shed that which is "bad," which is "animal." He demarcates himself in all possible ways from the bad animal and 
points, in proof of his "being better," to culture and civilization which distinguish him from the animal. He shows, 
in his whole behavior, his "theories of values," his moral philosophies, his "monkey trials" and such, that he does 
not want to be reminded of the fact that basically he is an animal, an animal, furthermore, which has much more 
in common with the "animal" than with that being which he asserts to be and dreams of being. The theory of the 
German Ubermensch has this origin. Man shows by his maliciousness, his inability to live in peace with his kind, 
his wars, that what distinguishes him from the other animals is only his unbounded sadism and the mechanical 
trinity of the authoritarian concept of life, mechanistic science and the machine. If one looks at the results of 
civilization as they present themselves over long periods of time, one finds that these contentions of man are not 
only erroneous; more than that, they seem to be made expressly for the purpose of making man forget that he is 
an animal. Whence these illusions of man about himself? What makes him form such illusions? 

The life of man is split in two: a life according to biological laws (sexual gratification, feeding, contact with 
nature) and a [287] life according to his mechanized civilization (mechanistic ideas about his own nature, his 
position of master in the animal kingdom, his class and race distinctions, his ideas of possession and non- 
possession, science, religion, etc.). Being-an-animal and not-wanting-to-be-an-animal, biological basis and 
technical development, are the poles between which his being and thinking are split up. All the concepts of 
himself which man has developed are borrowed from the machines which he has created. Building and handling 
machines has given man the belief that, through the machines and beyond them, he is developing to a "higher" 
plane. On the other hand, his machines show the appearance and the mechanics of man. The locomotive has eyes 
to see and legs to run, a mouth to eat the coal and excretory apparatus for the slags, and mechanisms for the 
production of sounds. The product of his mechanistic technic thus is an expansion of man himself. The machines 
are, in fact, an enormous expansion of his biological organization. They enable him to master nature to a far 
higher degree than he could with his hands alone. They give him mastery of time and space. Thus, the machine 
has become a part of man himself, a beloved and highly esteemed part. He has the perennial dream that the 
machines will make life easier for him and will give him an increased enjoyment of life. And in reality? In 
reality, the machine has become man's worst enemy. It will remain his worst enemy unless he differentiates 
himself from the machine. The progress of civilization, as made possible by the development of the machine, 
was accompanied by a disastrous misinterpretation of human biological organization. In building machines, man 
followed the laws of mechanics, of non-living energy. This technic was highly developed long before man finally 
began to ask himself how he himself was built and how he functioned. When finally, very gradually, cautiously 
and often at the danger of risking death, he began to discover his own organs, he interpreted their functions in the 
same way in which he had been building machines for hundreds of years: he interpreted them mechanistically in a 
rigid, un-alive manner. The mechanistic concept of life is the reflection of mechanistic civilization. But living 
[288] functioning is something basically different; it is not mechanistic. The specific biological energy, the 

orgone, follows laws which are neither those of mechanics nor those of electricity. Because man has been biased 
in favor of a mechanistic concept of the world he has been incapable of grasping the specifically living, non- 
mechanistic functioning. Man dreams of one day constructing a homunculus, a Frankenstein, or at least an 
artificial heart or artificial protein. The phantasies which man developed about this homunculus show a brutal 
monster which, though human-like, is mechanically stupid and awkward, filled with enormous powers which, 
once released, can no longer be inhibited and will automatically wreak destruction. This, Disney has splendidly 
shown in his "Fantasia." In such phantasies of man about himself and his functioning we miss any expression 
which would be kind, alive, social and natural. Conversely, it is striking to see how man, in portraying animals, 
gives them just those traits which he misses in himself and which he does not ascribe to his homunculus figures. 
This, too, is splendidly exemplified in Disney's animal films. 

Man himself, then, appears in his phantasies as a mechanical, cruel, all-powerful, unalive monster, while the 
animal appears as a kind, social being, with all the human qualities and weaknesses. One has to ask: do these 
phantasies reflect a reality? The answer is, yes. In these phantasies, man depicts in the most impressive way his 
inner biological conflict: 

a) in the ideology: bad animal — exalted man; 

b) in reality: brutal mechanical man — kind, free animal. 

That is, the machine has in turn influenced mans own conception of himself in the sense of making it machine- 
like, mechanistic, unalive and rigid. According to such a concept, man is built like this: the brain is the "most 
highly developed part." It represents a "central" which, like a "master" in a state, sends orders and impulses to the 
various organs. The organs are connected with the "master" by the nerves as if by telephone wires. Needless to 
say, this is a totally erroneous concept because in primitive organisms the organs act in a biologically correct way 
though a brain has [289] not yet developed; furthermore, in more highly developed organisms the essential life 
functions continue even after removal of the brain. The machine-like concepts are found in every aspect of life: 
Infants have to take so and so many grams of milk at exactly prescribed time intervals and have to sleep exactly 
so many hours. The diet has to contain exactly x grams of fat, y grams of protein and z grams of carbohydrates. 
Up to the date of the marriage ceremony, man has no sexual urge; exactly on that day, he has it. God created the 
earth in 6 days, on the 7th he rested; just as man takes a rest from the machines. The children get x hours of 
mathematics, y hours of chemistry, z hours of zoology, etc.; all of them the same thing and all of them are 
supposed to learn exactly the same amount. High intelligence means 100 points, average 80 points, stupidity 40 
points. With 90 points you can become a doctor, with 89 you can't. 

To man, psychic life to this day is only a nebulous mysterious something, or else a secretion of the brain. For 
centuries, he not only denied the existence of the mind, he also declared any attempt to comprehend sensations 
and psychic experiences to be erroneous. At the same time he constructed a mystical world in which to place all 
emotional experience. Those who questioned the correctness of his mystical concepts of life, be it "the saints," 
"racial purity" or "the state," he persecuted, even unto death. In this way, he developed mechanistic, machine-like 
concepts and mystical concepts of his functioning at the same time. Thus, his understanding of biology remained 
far behind his skill in building machines, and he gave up trying to understand himself. The machine which he 
created seemed sufficient to explain the functioning of his own organism. 1 

Is this chasm between extraordinary industrial skill and biological comprehension merely a result of deficient 
knowledge? Or does it result from an unconscious intention to ban all real 

1 The tragic split between biological and technical understanding, between that which is alive and that which is machine-like in man, is unequivocally 
expressed in the following: No mass individual in this world wanted the war. But all are its victims, as of a mechanical monster. Yet, this monster is the 
biologically rigid human himself. 

[290] insight into man's own functioning? In pursuing my experimental studies of the orgone, I am constantly 
amazed by the fact that the atmospheric orgone has been so thoroughly overlooked by thousands of excellent 

The answer is unequivocal: The lag in the comprehension of living functioning, its mechanistic misinterpretation 
and the overvaluation of the machine have been, and are, unconscious intentions. One would think that it should 
have been possible mechanistically to build machines on the one hand, and to comprehend living functioning non- 
mechanistically on the other hand. Careful observation of human behavior in important life situations reveals the 
nature of this intention. 

Machine civilization means to man not only an improvement of his animal existence. In addition, it has a 
subjectively far more important but irrational function: to stress again and again his not-being-an-animal, his 
being basically different from the animal. We have to ask ourselves: What interest has man in constantly 
proclaiming loudly — be it in science, in religion, in art or in other forms of expression — that he is man and not an 
animal; that the highest task of human existence is the "subjugation of the animal in man" and the cultivation of 
"higher values"; that the child has to be educated from a "wild little animal" to a "real human being"? How is it 
possible, we must ask, that man, consistently, saws off the biological limb on which he has grown and to which 
he belongs? How is it possible that he fails to see the devastations which result from this biological denial, the 
biopathies, the sadisms and wars? How can he fail to see that the existing human misery cannot possibly be done 
away with until man again fully acknowledges his being-an-animal? He must learn to see that what distinguishes 
him from other animals is nothing but a higher degree of security in life; he must give up the irrational denial of 
his true nature. 

"Away from the animal! Away from sexuality!" is the leitmotif of all human ideology. No matter whether the 
Fascist puts it in terms of the racially pure "Ubermensch," the Communist in terms of proletarian class 
consciousness, the Christian in terms of the [291] "spiritual-moral nature" of man, or the liberal in terms of the 
"higher human values." All these ideologies have one and the same basis: "I am not an animal; I have invented 
the machines, not the animal. / am not a sexual being, like the animal. " Hence the overemphasis of the intellect, 
of "pure" logic over against the instinct, of culture against nature, of the mind against the body, of work against 
sexuality, of the state against the individual, of the Ubermensch against the Untermensch. 

Why is it that out of millions of car drivers and radio listeners only a few know the name of the inventor of the 
car or of the radio, while every child knows the names of the bearers of the political pestilence? 

Natural science keeps reminding man again and again that he is nothing but a worm in the universe. The bearers 
of the political pestilence keep persuading him that he is not an animal, but a "zoon politikon," that is, specifically 
a non-animal, a bearer of values, a "moral being." What disaster has been brought about by the Platonic 
philosophy of the state! It is quite clear why man knows the politico better than the natural scientist: He does not 
want to be an animal, he does not want to be reminded of the fact that fundamentally he is a sexual animal. 

Seen from this vantage point, the animal has no intelligence but only "base instincts," no culture, no "values" but 
only "material needs." This is stressed just by that type of person who sees the content of his life in money- 
making. If such a murderous war as the present one has any trace of a rational function, it is that of unmasking the 
abysmal irrationality of such ideas. Man has every reason to envy the animal for its freedom from sadisms, 
perversions and meanness, and for its natural spontaneity. As vain as was man's belief that the earth is the center 
of the universe, so unreal and disastrous is his philosophy that the animal is a being "without a soul," without a 
morality, or more than that, an immoral and antisocial being. If I had the idea of being a benevolent saint and at 
the same time would smash my neighbor's head with an axe, I would, rightly, land in a mental institution or in the 
electric chair. But this is exactly the nature of man's [292] contradiction between his ideal "values" and his actual 
behavior. His putting this contradiction into highsounding sociological formulae like "the century of wars and 
revolutions" or "the highest development of military and political strategy" does not in the least alter the fact that 
in no other respect is man as blindly groping and as hopelessly lost as he is with regard to his biological and 
social functioning. 

It goes without saying that such attitudes are not natural but that they have been brought about by the 
development of machine civilization. The history of the patriarchal order shows clearly that the principal 
mechanism of changing human structure in the direction of the authoritarian is the suppression of infantile and 

adolescent genitality. The suppression of nature, of "the animal" in children, was the first tool for the production 
of machine-like obedient humans; it still is. 2 The socio-economic development of society has proceeded 
independently on its machine-like way to the present day. Along with this development, there was a further 
development and ramification of the basis of all ideological and cultural formations: "Away from the animal; 
away from genitality." Within these two processes, the social and the psychological, man made an ever more 
thorough and all-embracing effort to deny his biological nature. With that, there was an equally thorough and all- 
embracing increase of his sadistic brutality in business and in war, of the machine-like in his being, of the mask- 
like quality of his facial expression, of his armoring against sensations, of his perverse and criminal tendencies. 

Only a few years have passed since the devastating effects of this biological aberration began to be understood. 
One might be tempted to take an all too optimistic view of the situation, and to argue as follows: "It is completely 
correct that man erred when he equated his own nature to that of mechanized civilization. But now that we have 
recognized this error it will not be difficult to correct it: true, civilization cannot but be machine-like, but man's 

2 The socio-economic process, together with its effects on the formation of human ideology and structure, is described in my book, Der Einbruch der 

[293] attitude toward life can easily be changed from the mechanistic to the functionally alive. All that needs to 
be done is that the educational authorities change education accordingly." Indeed, this is what many intelligent 
people said at the time of the Russian revolution, between 1917 and 1923. 

The flaw in the argument is that the mechanistic concept of life is not a mere "idea" or "attitude." Character- 
analytic exploration of average people from every walk of life has shown that the mechanistic concept of life is 
not merely a "reflection" of the social processes in psychic life, as Marx had assumed, but far more than that: 

In the course of thousands of years of mechanical development, the mechanistic concept, from generation to 
generation, has anchored itself deeply in man's biological system. In so doing, it actually has altered human 
functioning in the sense of the machine-like. In the process of killing his genital function, man has become 
biologically rigid. He has armored himself against that which is natural and spontaneous within him, he has lost 
contact with the biological function of self-regulation and is filled with a strong fear of that which is alive and 

This biological rigidity is expressed primarily in a general rigidity of the organism and a demonstrable reduction 
of plasmatic mobility: intelligence is damaged, the natural social sense is lost, there is a general psychosis. The 
facts which substantiate this statement were presented in some detail in my book, THE FUNCTION OF THE 
ORGASM. What is called civilized man is in fact angular, machine-like, without spontaneity; it has developed into 
an automaton and a "brain machine." Man not only believes that he functions like a machine, he does in fact 
function like a machine. He lives, loves, hates and thinks like a machine. With his biological rigidity and the loss 
of the natural function of self-regulation, he has acquired all those character attitudes which reached their 
pinnacle in the pestilence of the dictatorships: hierarchic concept of state, machine administration of society, fear 
of responsibility, longing for authority and a Fiihrer, expecting to be told what to do, mechanistic thinking in 
natural science, [294] machine-like killing in war. It is not by accident that the Platonic concept of the state was 
conceived in a slave society. Neither is it an accident that it goes on living to this very day: serfdom has simply 
been replaced by inner slavery. 

The problem of the fascist pestilence has led us deeply into that of man's biological functioning. It is a matter of 
a development stretching over thousands of years and not, as the economists believe, a matter of imperialistic 
interests of the past two hundred or even of the past twenty years. The importance of the present war can by no 
means be limited to imperialistic interests in the oil wells of Baku or the rubber plantations in the Pacific. The 
treaty of Versailles is no more than a cog in the whole machine. The economistic conception of life — as great as 
its services have been — is completely inadequate for an understanding of the revolutionary processes of our life. 

The biblical legend of man's creation in the image of God, and the legend of his superiority in the animal 

kingdom, clearly represent the act of repression of man's animal nature. Nevertheless, every day he is reminded of 
his animal nature by his natural needs, conception, birth and death, sexual urge and dependency on nature. All the 
more intense are his efforts to fulfil his "divine" or "national" role; the age-old hatred of any genuine natural 
science which is not limited to machines stems from this source. It took several thousand years before a Darwin 
succeeded in proving man's animal origin. It took equally long before Freud discovered the elementary fact that 
the child is first of all a sexual being. And what a noise did the animal man make when it was presented with 
these simple facts ! 

From the "superiority" over the animal there is a straight line to racial "superiority" over "Negroes, Jews, 
Frenchmen" or whatnot. Clearly, man prefers being a "superior being" to being an animal. 

In order to distinguish himself from the other animals, man, in the process of becoming biologically rigid, 
denied the existence of his organ sensations and finally ceased to perceive them. To this day, it is a dogma of 
mechanistic natural science that [295] the autonomic functions are not perceived and that the autonomic nerves 
are rigid. This in spite of the fact that every child of three can tell you exactly that pleasure, anxiety, anger, 
longing, etc., are perceived in the belly. This in spite of the fact that the perception of the ego is nothing but the 
totality of the organ perceptions. With the loss of his organ sensations, man not only lost the intelligence of the 
animal and the capacity for reacting naturally; he also blocked for himself any possibility of mastering his vital 
problems; he replaced the natural self-regulatory intelligence of the plasm by an imp in the brain which has, at 
one and the same time, metaphysical and machine-like qualities. Man's perception of his own body has, indeed, 
become rigid and machine-like. 

Man constantly reproduces the machine-like organism by his kind of education, science and philosophy of life. 
This biological crippling is reaching the pinnacle of its triumphs in the scientific, mathematically exact, machine- 
like killing of today. As mechanistic philosophies and machines alone cannot kill, sadism also comes into play; 
sadism, this secondary drive born of suppressed nature, the only important characteristic which distinguishes 
man's structure from that of the animal. 

This tragic machine-like aberration did not develop, however, without its counterpart. Deep down, even the rigid 
human has remained a living animal. No matter how immobile his pelvis may be, no matter how stiff his neck 
and his shoulders, no matter how tense his abdominal muscles — deep down he feels that he is a part of living 
nature. But as he denies and suppresses this nature in every possible way, he cannot recognize it rationally and 
factually. Hence, he needs must experience it as something mystical, supernatural, out-of-the-world, be it in the 
form of religious ecstasy, in the form of a cosmic soul, or in the form of the sadistic "surging of the blood." As is 
well known, such an impotent monster has its best intuitions for killing in the spring. The Prussian military 
display shows all the characteristics of the mystical machine-man. 

Human mysticism, which thus represents the last traces of a [296] feeling for life, became, at the same time, the 
source of the machine-like sadism in Hitlerism. From the remaining depths of biological functioning, through all 
the armoring and enslavement, the cry for "freedom" keeps rising. No social movement could ever attain a 
following with a platform of "suppression of life." Every one of all the social movements which suppress the self- 
regulation of the vital forces proclaims some sort of freedom: the freedom from "sin"; the freedom of the 
"Lebensraum"; the freedom of the nation; the freedom of the proletariat; the freedom of culture, etc. These 
diverse cries for freedom are as old as the machine-like aberration of the human plasm. 

The cry for freedom is a sign of suppression. It will not cease to ring as long as man feels himself captive. As 
diverse as the cries for freedom may be, basically they all express one and the same thing: The intolerability of 
the rigidity of the organism and of the machine-like institutions which create a sharp conflict with the natural 
feelings for life. Not until there is a social order in which all cries for freedom subside will man have overcome 
his biological and social crippling, will he have attained genuine freedom. Not until man is willing to recognize 
his animal nature — in the good sense of the word — will he create genuine culture. 

The striving for freedom is nothing but the biological development of the vital forces. It is conceivable only in 
the framework of the biological laws of development, and not in opposition to them. The will to freedom and the 

capacity for freedom are nothing but the will and the capacity to recognize and further the development of human 
biological energy. Freedom is inconceivable as long as the biological development of man is suppressed and 

Under the influence of politicos, the masses blame the powers that be for wars. In the first world war it was the 
munition magnates, in the second the Psychopath General. This is shifting the responsibility. The blame for the 
war belongs only and alone to the same masses of people who have all the means of preventing wars. The same 
masses of people who — partly through indolent passivity, partly through their active behavior — make possible the 
[297] catastrophes from which they themselves suffer most horribly. To emphasize this fault of the masses, to give 
them the full responsibility, means taking them seriously. On the other hand, to pity the masses as a poor victim 
means treating them like a helpless child. The first is the attitude of the genuine fighter for freedom, the latter is 
the attitude of the politico. 

3. The arsenal of human freedom. 

Rulers and generals muster their troops. Magnates muster the sums of money which give them power. The 
fascist dictators muster the irrational human reactions which make it possible for them to attain and maintain their 
power over the masses. The scientists muster knowledge and means of research. But, thus far, no organization 
fighting for freedom has ever mustered the biological arsenal where the weapons are to be found for the 
establishment and the maintenance of human freedom. All precision of our social existence notwithstanding, 
there is as yet no definition of the word freedom which would be in keeping with natural science. No word is 
more misused and misunderstood. 

To define freedom is the same as to define sexual health. But nobody will openly admit this. The advocacy of 
personal and social freedom is connected with anxiety and guilt feelings. As if to be free were a sin or at least not 
quite as it should be. Sex-economy makes this guilt feeling comprehensible: freedom without sexual self- 
determination is in itself a contradiction. But to be sexual means — according to the prevailing human 
structure — to be sinful or guilty. There are very few people who experience sexual love without guilt feeling. 
"Free love" has acquired a degrading meaning: it lost the meaning given it by the old fighters for freedom. In 
films and in books, to be genital and to be criminal are presented as the same thing. No wonder, then, that the 
ascetic and the reactionary enjoy a higher esteem than the loving primitive; that high social position is 
incompatible with natural sexual attitudes and behavior; that the "authority" is not allowed to have a "private 
life"; that a great scientist like De La Metrie could be besmirched and hounded by ascetics; that any perverse 
moralist can get away with besmirching a happily loving couple; [298] that adolescents risk the reformatory for 
having sexual intercourse; etc. 

This article was intended to show the miscalculation to which thus far all struggles for freedom have fallen prey. 
It is this: the incapacity for social freedom is physiologically anchored in the human organism. It follows that the 
mastery of the physiological incapacity for freedom is one of the most important prerequisites of any genuine 
struggle for freedom. This article was not meant to discuss those elements of freedom which are generally known 
and advocated, such as the freedom of expression, freedom from economic suppression and exploitation, freedom 
of assembly, freedom of scientific search, etc. The essential task here was that of showing the most powerful 
obstacle in the path of all these endeavors. 

It is not difficult to understand why the general characterological incapacity for freedom on the part of the 
masses of people has never been made a matter of public discussion. It is an all too depressing and too unpopular 
fact. It requires severe self-criticism and far-reaching changes in the whole way of living on the part of the 
overwhelming majority of people. It requires shifting the responsibility for all social processes from minorities or 
individuals to the masses of people on whom work in society depends. Thus far, this working majority of people 
never have themselves governed the fate of society. The best they could do thus far was to put the guidance of 
their lives in the hands of decent instead of worthless individuals. The "parliamentary" form of "government" was 
not equal to the actual happenings, for at the same time, other groups and majorities invested brutal sadists and 
imperialists with power over their fates. There is great danger that formal democracy, in fighting authoritarian 

dictatorship, may itself undergo a change in the direction of dictatorship. Since the working masses do not 
themselves determine their lives, factually and practically, the germ of the suppression of freedom is present in 
the course of events themselves; it does not have to lie in any evil intention of the elected representatives. The 
war, e.g., requires many measures which, though acutely necessary, [299] are potentially authoritarian. Under 
such circumstances it depends on the accidental composition of the government whether the suppression of 
freedom is going to be temporary or permanent. Of this fact there seems to be a general awareness. For one hears 
it said ever more clearly everywhere that there can be no return to the old order, and that a basically new world 
order has to be established. While this is entirely correct, one misses any concrete propositions. In particular, 
nobody proposes to burden the working majorities, who thus far have played a passive social role, with the full 
responsibility for their future fate. It is as if there were a general and secret fear of shifting the responsibility from 
a democratic, well-meaning government to those who thus far have only been voters but not responsible bearers 
of society. This fear is based not on malice or evil intent, but on the knowledge of the biopsychic structure of the 
masses of people. The Russian revolution, which started out in the direction of establishing mass responsibility, 
failed for this reason. Nevertheless, the necessity of a social revolution in the sense of progressing from a formal 
to a full, factual democracy is the most important conclusion to be drawn from this war and all that led to it. To 
repeat the inescapable conclusions from the foregoing facts: 

a) The masses of people are incapable of freedom; 

b) the general capacity for freedom can be acquired only in the daily struggle for a free life; 

c) it follows that the masses, who are incapable of freedom, must have the social power if they are to become 
capable of freedom and capable of creating and maintaining freedom. 

The task presented by these facts may be illustrated by an example from plant life. For a long time, I have been 
observing the effect of weeds on the growth of pine seedlings. The little pines which grow in spots where there 
are few weeds grow vigorously on all sides, developing branches right above the ground; the leaves are green and 
full; the plant grows, unimpeded, straight toward the sun; it is "healthy," its development is "free." If, however, 
the seed has fallen on a spot where there are many weeds, it develops a crooked stem, incomplete branches, with 
[300] poor leaves or none at all. Many such seedlings are incapable of pushing through the weeds at all. Others 
grow crooked in their attempt to reach the sunlight. If one frees such a seedling from the weeds, it begins to grow 
better and develops more fully; nevertheless, the earlier influence of the weeds is still seen in the form of stunted 
growth, crooked stem, poor development of leaves, etc. Seeds, however, which fall, in the beginning, on a spot 
free from weeds, develop freely and fully. 

The free development of a society is like that of the freely growing pine seedlings; the dictatorship like the 
seedling smothered by the weeds; and the formal democracies under the pressure of the dictatorships like the 
seedlings which, though they manage to push through, are, nevertheless, biologically stunted. There is at present 
no democratic society able to develop according to natural, free, self-regulatory principles, without the deforming 
influence of dictatorial authoritarian pressures from without or within. The experiencing of fascism has given us 
the means of recognizing Hitlerism within and without our own borders. Bio -psychic ally speaking, Hitlerism is 
nothing but the most highly developed form of machine -like mechanism plus the mystical irrationalism of the 
human masses. The crippling of individual and social life is nothing but the result of the age-old influence of all 
the irrational and authoritarian institutions on the human of today. Fascism has not newly created these 
conditions; it has only utilized old conditions of suppression of freedom and has brought them to a new peak. All 
that the generation which is characterized by the results of thousands of years of authoritarianism can hope for is 
to breathe a little more freely. It can no longer count on becoming a tree which will develop fully, according to 
natural laws, once the weeds are torn up, that is, once the fascist machine is smashed. 

In other words: the biological rigidity of the present generation can no longer be eliminated; all that can be done 
is to give its still active life forces more room for development. But new individuals are born every day, and in 
the course of 30 years there is a new generation, without a trace of fascist deformity. Every-[301]thing depends 
on what kind of conditions this new generation is born into; conditions which secure freedom or foster 

authoritarian conditions. This defines clearly the social and legislative task that lies ahead: 

The coming generation must, under all circumstances and with all means, be saved from being influenced by the 
biological rigidity of the old generation. 

German fascism was born from the biological rigidity and crippling of the former generation. Prussian 
militarism, with its machine-like discipline, its goose-step, its "belly in, chest out!" is the extreme manifestation 
of this biological rigidity. It was able to depend on the biological rigidity and crippling of the masses in other 
countries. Hence its international success. It succeeded, finally — within one generation — in eradicating the last 
traces of a will to freedom in German society and in turning the new generation, in hardly more than a decade, 
into rigid, unthinking automatic war- machines. It is clear: social freedom and self-regulation are inconceivable in 
rigid, machine-like people. The main weapons in the arsenal of freedom, therefore, are the gigantic vital forces in 
each new generation. 

Let us assume that the formal democracies win this war but overlook or underestimate the biological 
miscalculation in the struggle for freedom, the biological rigidity of the mass individual. In that case, every new 
generation will inevitably reproduce the rigidity, will form new authoritarian and life-inimical concepts of life, 
and there will be, at best, only crippled, biologically poorly functioning freedoms. And the masses will never 
become capable of developing their responsibility for social existence. Thus those who have no interest in such a 
self-regulation of society need do nothing but use their power of money, position or authority to prevent the 
liberation of the new generations from the pressure exerted by the rigidity of the old generation. 

If, on the other hand, we are interested in bringing about a free society, we are confronted with social, medical 
and educational tasks: 

Socially, it is a matter of finding all the sources of the biologi-[302]cal impoverishment of man and of creating 
laws for the protection of a free development. General formulations such as the "freedom of the press, of 
expression, of assembly," etc., are a matter of course, but far from sufficient. For under these laws, the irrational 
individual has exactly the same rights as the rational one. As weeds always grow more easily and rampantly than 
other plants, the Hitlerist will inevitably win out. It is a matter of not limiting Hitlerism to the bearers of the 
Swastika sign, but of recognizing it in everyday life, scientifically and humanly, and of fighting it there. Only in 
the process of thus weeding out fascism in everyday life will the proper laws against it formulate themselves. 

Only one example of many: anyone who wants to drive a car or wants to run a barber shop must, for the 
protection of the other people's safety, prove his ability to do so; he must have a license. But there is still no law 
for the protection of newborn infants against the parents' inability to bring up children or against the parents' 
neurotic influences. Children can — and, according to fascist principles, should be — put into the world en masse, 
without anybody asking whether they will be fed and properly brought up. The sentimental slogan of the family 
with many children is typically fascist, no matter by whom it is propagated. 3 

From a medical and educational point of view, the ignominious fact will have to be remedied that the fate of 
each new generation is in the hands of physicians and teachers who have not acquired the slightest knowledge of 
the biosexual development of the infant. This is still so, 40 years after the discovery of infantile sexuality. Every 
day and every hour, this ignorance of physicians and teachers creates fascist mentality in millions of children and 
adolescents. Two requirements are immediately obvious. 

First: Every physician, teacher or social worker who will have to do with children must show proof that he or 
she himself is sex-economically healthy and that he has acquired an exact knowledge of infantile and adolescent 
sexuality. That is, training 

3 It crept, e.g., into the otherwise progressive Beveridge Plan in England, 1942. 

[303] in sex-economy must be obligatory for physicians and teachers. The formation of concepts about sexuality 
should not be left to chance or to neurotic moralists. 
Second: Most rigorous laws are needed for the protection of infantile and adolescent sexuality. This may sound 

revolutionary. But it should be obvious to anybody that fascism, which grew out of the suppression of infantile 
and adolescent sexuality, has been much more radical and revolutionary, in a negative sense, than society could 
ever be in the positive sense of protecting natural development. In every democratic society, there are 
innumerable attempts to bring about a change in this respect. But these islands of understanding and good will are 
blotted out by the obfuscations which biologically rigid, moralistic physicians and teachers spread over the total 

There is no sense in going into details here. Every individual measure will formulate itself spontaneously once 
the principle of the affirmation of sexuality and of the social protection of infantile and adolescent sexuality is 

From an economic point of view, only the natural work relationships, i.e., the natural economic interdependence 
of people, can form the basis and the framework for a biological re- structuring of the masses. 

The sum total of all natural work relationships we call work democracy. These work relationships are functional 
and not mechanical. They cannot be arbitrarily established or organized; they can only develop spontaneously 
from the work process itself. The mutual interdependence of carpenter and blacksmith, of researcher and glass 
grinder, of painter and paint producer, etc., results in itself from the interlacing of the work functions. One could 
not invent an arbitrary law which would change these natural work relationships. One cannot make the laboratory 
worker independent of the glass grinder. The nature of the lenses is dictated only by the laws of optics and by 
technic, the form of induction spools by the laws of electricity, the activities of man by the nature of his needs. 
The natural functions of the work process are out of the grasp of human authoritarian arbitrary [304] action. They 
function freely and are free in the strict sense of the word. They alone are rational. Only they, therefore, can 
rationally determine social existence. Love, work and knowledge comprise the whole meaning of the concept of 
work democracy. 

True, the natural functions of work, love and knowledge can be misused and smothered. Nevertheless, they 
regulate themselves intrinsically; they have done so ever since there was human work and they will do so as long 
as there is a social process. These natural functions constitute the fact (not by any means the "postulate") of work 
democracy. Work democracy is not a political program or the anticipation of a "new order." It is a fact, though it 
is one of those facts which thus far have escaped human attention. Work democracy cannot be organized any 
more than freedom can be organized, or the growth of a tree, an animal or a human. The growth of an organism 
is, on the strength of its biological function, free in the strictest sense of the word. So is the natural growth of 
society. It regulates itself and needs no legislation or regulation. Again, it can only be hindered or misused. 

The essence of all kinds of authoritarian rule is that it inhibits the natural self-regulatory functions. The task of a 
genuine free order can be nothing but that of preventing any inhibition of natural functions. This makes strict laws 
necessary. Democracy, if it is serious and genuine, is identical with natural self-regulation of love, work and 
knowledge. Dictatorship, human irrationalism, on the other hand, is identical with the inhibition of this natural 

From this it follows that the fight against dictatorships and the irrational longing for authority on the part of the 
masses can consist only in two fundamental measures: 1) in the elucidation of all natural vital forces in the 
individual and in society; and 2) the elucidation of all obstacles which counteract the spontaneous functioning of 
these vital forces. The vital forces must be furthered, the obstacles must be eliminated. 

Human regulation of social existence cannot extend to the natural functions of work. Civilization in the good 
sense of the word [305] can consist in nothing but the establishment of the optimal conditions for the development 
of the natural functions of love, work and knowledge. Although freedom cannot be organized — more, any 
organization contradicts freedom — the conditions can and must be organized which guarantee free development 
of the vital forces. 

In our professional organization we do not tell our workers what and how they should think. We do not organize 
their thinking. But we demand of every worker in our field that he rid himself of that lack of freedom in thought 
and action which he has acquired as a result of his upbringing. If he does so, his spontaneous rational reactions 

are set free. It is nonsensical to interpret freedom in the sense that the lie has the same right before a court of law 
as the truth. A genuine work democracy will not give mystical irrationalism the same right as the truth, nor will it 
give to the suppression of children the same power as to their freedom. It is nonsensical to negotiate with a 
murderer concerning his right to murder. But this nonsense is constantly being perpetrated in our relations with 
the Fascists. Fascism, instead of being recognized as organized irrationalism and indecency, is considered a form 
of "State" like any other. This, people do because of the fascism in themselves. Of course, even fascism "is right, 
somewhere," just like the mental patient; it only does not know where. 

Seen from this standpoint, freedom becomes a simple fact, easy to understand and to manage. In fact, freedom 
need not be first achieved; it is spontaneously existent in all natural life functions. What has to be achieved is the 
elimination of all the obstacles that stand in the way of freedom. 

Seen from this standpoint, the arsenal of human freedom is gigantic and ever so rich in means, biological as well 
as mechanical. Nothing extraordinary has to be fought for. Life is to be set free; that is all. The age-old dream of 
freedom can become reality once reality is comprehended. In this arsenal of freedom we find: 

The spontaneous, alive knowledge of the natural laws of life, which everybody has somewhere, no matter what 
his age, social [306] position or color. What is to be eliminated is the distortion and repression of this knowledge 
by life-inimical, rigid, mechanistic and mystical concepts and institutions. 

The natural work relatonships among people and their natural enjoyment in work. They are full of strength and 
promise. What is to be eliminated is the obstruction of the natural work democracy by arbitrary, life-inimical and 
authoritarian limitations and regulations. 

The natural sociality and morality which is present in everybody. What is to be eliminated is the loathsome 
moralism which obstructs natural morality and then justifies itself by the very impulses, perverse, antisocial and 
criminal, which it has created. 

The present war, as no other war before, will do away with many obstacles to natural self-regulation, obstacles 
which to eliminate would seem inconceivable in peacetime. Thus, for example, the authoritarian fascist relegation 
of the woman to the hearth, certain practises of business, exploitation and usury, artificial national boundaries, 
etc. We do not belong to those who contend that wars are necessary for the progress of human civilization. 4 The 
situation is the following: the mechanistic, mystical, 

4 Translator's note: The fact that this should even be mentioned is a problem in itself. One would think that every decent, thinking person would be of the 
same opinion. That this is far from being the case is exemplified in the following item which appeared in the LETTERS column of TIME, January 25, 1943: 


It is regrettable that Mr. Biddle in his otherwise admirable treatise on Mr. Justice Holmes (Time, Jan. 4) should have seen fit to praise one of Holmes's rare 
public indiscretions, the rhapsodic defense of war. That was worthy of a Mussolini or the war lords of Germany and Japan . . . 
War in itself is obscene, not ennobling . . . 


Some other unorthodox views of war: 

"Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than of war." — Homer: Iliad, XIII. 

"I shall always respect war hereafter. The cost of life, the dreary havoc of comfort and time, are overpaid by the vistas it opens of eternal life, eternal law, 
reconstructing and uplifting society — breaks up the old horizon and we see through the rifts a wider vista." — R. W. Emerson: Letter to Thomas Carlyle, Sept. 
26, 1864.— ED. 

These examples show clearly that the glorification of war is not limited to professional soldiers and imperialists. The italics in the quotation from Emerson are 
mine. — T.P.W. 

[307] authoritarian organization of human society and of human structure again and again bring about the 
machine-like murder of war. That which is alive and striving for freedom in man and his society rebels against 
this. Since in war the biological crippling of man and of society shows itself in its extreme, grotesque 
manifestations, the living function is forced to assert itself, something which under more normal conditions it is 
less likely to do. 

An alive, functional concept of life opens up manifold tasks. They cannot be entered upon here. One could write 
a fat volume about the antics of politiciandom alone, this supreme expression of human irrationalism. All that this 

article intended to do was to demonstrate the biological anchoring of the human incapacity for freedom. 

The following objection may be raised: Granted that man, under the influence of machine production for 
thousands of years, has suffered his body to degenerate in a machine-like fashion and his thinking to degenerate 
irrationally. But we cannot see how it would be possible to reverse this process in the organism and to liberate the 
self-regulatory forces in man if the masses continue to be under the influence of the machine. No sensible person 
will expect us to become iconoclasts and to want to abolish industrial civilization. There is no appreciable 
counteraction to the biologically devastating influences of machine technic. To eliminate the biological rigidity of 
man would take more palpable things than scientific information. In addition, this war, with its discipline and its 
regulation of human activities, will increase rather than decrease biological rigidity. 

This objection is entirely correct. The present technical means offer indeed no possibility of undoing the 
biological aberration of man. For a long time after I had recognized the fact of the biological reproduction of 
mechanized civilization, I hesitated to publish it. I told myself that there is no use in proclaiming truths which 
cannot have any practical effect. 

Finally, the answer to this painful dilemma presented itself when I began to ask myself how I myself had arrived 
at the functional formulations in psychiatry, sociology and biology which so [308] successfully explained 
mechanism and mysticism and could replace them in these three fields. Not because I am some sort of superman. 
Then, how could I arrive at solutions which were inaccessible to others? Gradually it became clear that decades of 
professional work on the problem of biological energy had forced me to rid myself of mechanistic and mystical 
concepts and methods; otherwise the work would have been impossible. That is, my work itself forced me to learn 
functional thinking. If, instead of cultivating functional thinking, I had cultivated the mechanistic, mystical 
structure which my upbringing had imparted to me, I would not have been able to discover one single fact of 
orgone biophysics. But I found myself on the hidden path that led to the discovery of the orgone the moment I 
entered the taboo field of the orgastic plasma contraction. In retrospect I saw that I had passed any number of 
critical points at which I might have been pulled back from the functional way of looking at things into the 
mechanistic, mystical way. How I escaped this danger I could not tell. What is certain is that the functional way 
of looking at things, which contains so many important answers to the present chaos, was supported by the 
occupation with the biological energy, the orgone. In this way, I found an answer for myself. The reason for my 
explaining this is my belief that this answer is generally valid: 

The ignorance of the laws of biological functioning has created mechanism, and has put mysticism in the place 
of living reality. The orgone, the specific biological energy in the cosmos, however, is neither mechanistic nor 
mystical. This energy follows its own laws, which are specifically functional and cannot be comprehended in 
terms of rigid mechanics, or in terms of positive and negative electricity. It follows functional laws such as 
attraction and dissociation, expansion and contraction, lumination, pulsation, etc. The technique of machine 
murder can hardly expect any succour from it, for it will not be adaptable to the technique of killing. This war, or 
the next one, will create a gigantic demand for life-positive functions. The orgonotic life-rays are not the least 
contribution to the development of humanity which sex-economy [309] has been able to make. Sooner or later, 
ever increasing numbers of people will make themselves acquainted with the functions of the orgone. In the 
process of understanding and mastering the cosmic life energy, people will be forced to learn functional, alive, 
thinking; otherwise they would be unable to master the theoretical and practical problems of the orgone. Not long 
ago, they learned to think psychologically, when an avenue of approach was opened to an understanding of 
infantile sexuality, and economically, when the laws of economics became known. On the one hand, the 
mechanical laws of inanimate nature made man become rigid and machine-like when he grasped and mastered 
them. On the other hand, each new generation, in mastering the laws of the orgonotic life function to an ever- 
increasing degree, will learn to comprehend, love, protect and develop living functioning. 

I would like to ask the reader not to look at this conclusion as a proclamation of salvation. The more deeply one 
penetrates into the functional realms of natural science, the less one can get rid of the feeling of being only a 
"worm in the universe," I consider myself nothing but the tool of a certain scientific logic. The far-reaching 

conclusion which I drew from the discovery of the orgone for the solution of the social problem of human 
biological impoverishment is a true conclusion, comparable to the conclusion that one can overcome gravity by 
filling a balloon with a gas of a specific weight lower than that of air. I have no cure-alls to hand out, as many of 
our friends seem to believe. Such things as "natural biological self-regulation," "natural work-democracy," 
"cosmic orgone," "genital character," etc., are facts. They are weapons which sex-economy has put at the disposal 
of humanity for the eradication of enslaving conditions such as "biological rigidity," "character and muscular 
armoring," "pleasure anxiety," "orgastic impotence," "formal authority," "social irresponsibility," "incapacity for 
freedom," etc. It is an essential part of this work that it is done out of the enjoyment of work, of searching and 
finding, of the perception of the spontaneous decency and wisdom in nature, and not in the expectation of medals, 
riches, academic recognition and popularity, and certainly not out of the sadistic [310] pleasure in torture, 
suppression, cultivation of illusions, warfare and killing of life. 


Introduction. What I am going to present here is general and spontaneous human knowledge, although this 
knowledge is not socially organized and, for this reason, has as yet not attained a practical effect on a large scale. 

Social events are again in a volcanic state of flux. Everywhere people are asking, "What is going to happen 
now? Which party, or which political coalition will take the responsibility for the fate of European society?" I 
have no answer to this question. This article is not intended to offer political advice. It is intended only to point 
out a certain practical and rational fact which is nowhere mentioned in all the political discussions of the shape of 
the postwar world. It is the fact which in circles of scientists, physicians, teachers, social workers and others has 
come to be known as "natural work democracy." I shall now show what natural work democracy is; I repeat, 
what it is, not what it should be. 

In 1937, that is, two years before the outbreak of the second world war, at a time when the war clouds gathered 
over Europe, a small monograph entitled DIE NATURLICHE ORGANISATION DER ARBEIT IN DER 
ARBEITSDEMOKRATIE was published in Scandinavia. Its author was not named but signed as "a laboratory 
worker." It was published in mimeographed form only, and later translated in manuscript into English. It had no 
large circulation, for it had no political propaganda behind it and it was not written out of political ambition. But 
wherever it was read, it found acclaim. It was read in small circles in France, Holland, Scandinavia, Switzerland 
and Palestine. A few dozen copies also found their way illegally into Germany. It was reviewed in a German 
Socialist weekly in Paris, and otherwise did not make any great stir. Far from gaining any decisive influence on 
political events, it soon 

* First published in International Journal of Sex-economy and Orgone-Research 2, 1943, 122-140. 

[311] fell into oblivion in the turmoil of the day. Small wonder, for it was not a political treatise, but was, on the 
contrary, against politics, written by a working individual. Yet, two things seemed to stick in the memory of 
those who had read it and seemed to appear again and again in their conversations and discussions. One was the 
word "work democracy." The other was two sentences. They sound out-of-the-world, Utopian and basically 
hopeless: "Put an end to all politics! Turn to the practical tasks of real life!" 
Peculiarly enough, the only political daily which reviewed the book in an extensive article, also made the word 
"work democracy" and the two watchword-like sentences the center of the discussion. The article was 
sympathetic toward work democracy, but strictly refuted the tendency expressed by those two sentences. This 
contradiction showed that the book had not been really understood. Apparently, it was written by a former 
socialist. It refuted all socialist party doings but still contained a great many political formulations and 

In spite of its defects and lack of clarity, it was read with great enthusiasm by a German sociologist and 

smuggled into Germany. In the course of the ensuing six years, hardly anything was ever heard of it. But in 1941 
it was followed by a continuation under the title, WEITERE PROBLEME DER ARBEITSDEMOKRATIE. This also 
went illegally to several European countries and was even "intercepted" by the American Secret Police, the F.B.I., 
and made the basis for questioning. 

In the circles of sex-economists and vegetotherapists, who have only a very informal organization, the word 
"work democracy" became more and more meaningful. It became part of everyday language; one spoke of work- 
democratic institutions, of the "work family," etc., things which gave a good deal of food for thought. In the midst 
of the war chaos, a sex-economist in one of the occupied countries wrote to the American group that the book had 
been translated and was being held in readiness for distribution as soon as circumstances would permit. 

In the course of the last four years of war I tried more and more to comprehend the content of the concept of 
work democ-[312]racy. My starting point were discussions I had had in Norway with friends of various 
professions. The more I dealt with the concept, the clearer became its outline, the fuller and more alive its 
content, and finally I had a picture of it which was in full harmony with a great many decisive though neglected 
sociological facts. 

I shall now try to present the meaning of this picture. I have no intention of making any propaganda for it or of 
entering into any time-consuming discussions about it. But I may say that this picture is becoming more and more 
identical with the spontaneous and organic manner in which the International Orgone Institute is growing. In its 
basic features, this organization of sex-economists, vegetotherapists, teachers and orgone biophysicists develops 
in fact according to the picture of natural work democracy. 

1. Work in conflict with politics. 

A physician, in order to be admitted to practice, must demonstrate his theoretical and practical knowledge of 
medicine. A politician, on the other hand, who, unlike the physician, purposes to decide the fate not of hundreds 
of people, but of millions, does not have to show such proof of knowledge. This fact seems to be one of the 
fundamental reasons for the tragedy which, for thousands of years, has devastated human society with periodic 

The practical worker, no matter whether he comes from a rich or a poor home, has to go through a certain 
schooling. He is not elected "by the people." Working people who have proved themselves over years in their 
profession should determine whether or not the future worker should be a socially potent factor. This demand 
may be ahead of the facts, but it is indicative of a tendency. In America this demand has even found expression in 
the requirement that a salesperson in a department store has to have a college degree. As exaggerated and unjust 
as such a demand may be, it clearly shows the social pressure with which even the simplest work is burdened. 
Every cobbler, carpenter, [313] mechanic, electrician, mason, etc., has to fulfill very strict demands made on his 

A politician, on the other hand, is not subject to the necessity of such legitimation. All he needs to reach the 
highest positions in human society — particularly when social conditions are chaotic — are a good dose of 
cleverness, neurotic ambition, and ruthlessness. The past 25 years have shown how a mediocre journalist was able 
to brutalize 50 million Italian people and lead them to disaster. For 22 years there was a big noise about nothing, 
until one day the whole thing collapsed overnight, leaving one with the feeling, "And nothing has happened. " 
What remained of this gigantic noise which kept the world breathless and tore many nations from their 
accustomed lives? Nothing. Not one lasting thought, not one useful institution. Nothing could more simply and 
more forcefully demonstrate the social irrationalism which periodically brings our lives to the verge of disaster. 

An unsuccessful housepainter has also succeeded in holding the world's attention for 20 years without having 
accomplished one single useful, factual and objective achievement. This also is a case of a gigantic noise which 
one day will dissolve into "nothing." The world of work continues on its quiet and vitally necessary course. Of 
the big noise, nothing will remain but a chapter in history textbooks with an erroneous orientation, textbooks 
which only confuse our children. 

This simple antithesis of work and politics — of which every working individual is somehow aware — has 
enormous consequences for practical social living. It is expressed, first of all, in the political party system which 
has such an enormous influence on human ideology and structure. This is not the place to discuss the question of 
how the present party system developed from the first patriarchal and hierarchic systems of Europe and Asia. We 
are concerned here only with the effect of the political party system on the course of society. The reader will 
already be aware of the fact that natural work democracy is not a social system yet to be established but an 
existing system, one that is to the political party system as is water to fire. 

[314] The antithesis of work and politics leads to the following considerations: The elucidation and elimination 
of chaotic conditions, no matter whether in a social or in an animal organism, requires scientific and practical 
work of long duration. Let us briefly, without any subtleties of definition, call that individual who does any vitally 
necessary work which requires the scientific comprehension of facts, the "scientific individual. " In this sense, a 
lathe worker in a factory is a scientific individual, for his work is based on the fruits of his own and others' work 
and search. Let us compare this scientific individual with the mystic, including the political ideologist. 

The scientific individual, be he a physician, a lathe worker, a teacher, a technician or whatnot, must work in 
accordance with the social work process and must safeguard it. He has a difficult stand socially: he must 
substantiate every one of his contentions in a practical manner. He must labor painstakingly, must think, look for 
new ways, must recognize errors and correct them, must recognize erroneous theories and refute them. In 
addition, if he achieves something fundamentally new, he must expose himself to human maliciousness and must 
fight his way through it. He cannot use might and force, for with might and force one cannot build engines, 
produce therapeutic sera, make stratosphere flights or bring up children. The working, scientific individual lives 
and works without weapons. 

The mystic and the political ideologist, on the other hand, have an easy stand socially, compared with the 
working individual. Nobody asks them to prove their contentions. They may promise the stars from heaven and 
paradise on earth: they can rest assured that nobody will call them to account for fraud. Their prerogatives are 
based on the sacred right of free democratic expression of opinion. If we give the matter a little thought, we soon 
realize that there must be something wrong with the concept of "free expression of opinion." For it was possible 
for an incompetent housepainter to establish for himself, within a few years and in a completely legal manner, 
with the right of free expression of opinion, a position in the world such as none of the great pioneers [315] in 
science, art, education or technic ever achieved. This shows plainly that in a certain respect our social thinking is 
catastrophically wrong and in need of radical correction. We know, from careful sex-economic clinical 
observation, that it is the authoritarian upbringing of children to be apprehensive subjects which guarantees to the 
political pirates the credulity and the submissiveness of millions of adult individuals. 

Let us follow the antithesis of work and politics in another direction. 

The cover of the International Journal of Sex-economy and Or gone-Research, the official organ of the Orgone 
Institute, carries the motto: "Love, work and knowledge are the well-springs of our life. They should also govern 
it." Without the functions of natural love between man and wife, mother and child, one work companion and the 
other, etc., without work and knowledge, human society could not exist for a single day. As a physician, I do not 
have to take into account any political ideology or any diplomatic necessity, as important as they may seem at the 
moment. My task is exclusively that of presenting facts. It is a painful fact that none of the three basic functions 
of social life are in any way taken into account by the exercise of universal suffrage; nor have they ever been 
taken into account in the history of parliamentary democracy. The political ideologies, on the other hand — though 
they have nothing at all to do with the functions of natural love, of work and of knowledge — have unimpeded and 
uncontrolled access to every kind of social power, on the basis of universal suffrage and of the party system. I 
may emphasize here that I am, and always have been, for universal suffrage. This does not change the fact that 
the social institution of universal suffrage in parliamentary democracy is in no way identical with the three basic 
functions of social existence. It is left entirely to chance whether these basic social functions are safeguarded or 
harmed by the parliamentary voting system. There is no provision in parliamentary democratic legislation which 

would grant love, work and knowledge the leading role in guiding the fate of society. This lack of accord between 
democratic [316] suffrage and basic social functions has a catastrophic effect on the social process. 

I shall no more than briefly mention the many institutions and laws which explicitly impede these functions. 
This basic conflict between work and politics has never been clearly formulated by any scientific or political 
group. Nevertheless, it is the core of the biosocial tragedy of the animal, man. The political party systems do not 
correspond in any way to the conditions, tasks and goals of human society. A cobbler cannot suddenly become a 
tailor, nor can a physician suddenly become a mining engineer, or a teacher a carpenter. But in America a 
Republican, without any factual re-orientation, can suddenly become a Democrat; in pre-Hitler Germany, a 
Communist could without any difficulty turn into a Fascist, a Fascist into a Communist, a Liberal into a 
Communist or Social Democrat, and a Social Democrat into a German Nationalist or a Christian Socialist party 
member; in doing so, he could strengthen or weaken the program of the respective party and in this unprincipled 
manner influence the fate of a whole nation. 

This shows plainly the irrational character of politics and its antithesis to work. The question whether political 
parties ever had an objective and rational place in the social system is irrelevant here. What is relevant is that 
today the political parties do not fulfil any rational function. The practical and positive achievements in a society 
have nothing to do with party lines and party ideologies. This is shown, for example, in Roosevelt's New Deal. 
The so-called party coalitions are makeshifts for want of a factual orientation and a real solution. It is not possible 
to master tangible realities with opinions which one changes like a shirt. 

These first steps in the elucidation of the concept of work democracy have already led to important insights into 
the social chaos. This makes it imperative to continue our examination of natural work democracy. For nobody 
knows where the answer will be found to the chaos produced by politics. 

This task of finding an orientation in the social chaos must itself be considered a piece of rational practical work. 
Since nat-[317]ural work democracy is based on work, and not on politics, this "work on the social organism" 
may well yield a practically useful result. If so, it would be the first time that work had a decisive influence on the 
social problem. This work would be work-democratic in that it could cause other working sociologists, 
economists and psychologists to work on the social organism. Since this work attacks politics as a principle and 
as a system, it will doubtless be countered with political ideologies. It will be interesting and important to see how 
work-democratic sociology will stand this practical test. Work-democratic thinking meets political ideologies 
with the concept of social function and social development, that is, with facts and possibilities, and not with other 
political ideologies. It is the same as in the field of morals: sex-economy fights the damages wrought by 
compulsive morality not with another kind of compulsive morality — which would be the political way — but with 
concrete knowledge of and practical work on the natural love function. In other words, work-democratically 
oriented sociology will have to prove itself in practical life in the same way as the contention that steam contains 
energy is proven by the motion of the locomotive. Thus we have no reason for engaging in political or ideological 
squabbles about the existence or the practicability of work democracy. 

The work-democratically thinking and acting worker does not take a stand against the politician. It is neither his 
intention nor his fault if the results of his practical work show up the illusionary and irrational character of 
politics. As a practical worker, no matter in what profession, one is intensively occupied with practical tasks for 
the improvement of life. For this reason, one is not like the politician who, for lack of practical tasks, is always 
"against" and never "for" something. This "being-against" characterizes politics in general. That which is 
practically productive is not done by the politician but by the worker, no matter whether the politician's ideologies 
are for or against it. Long experience shows unequivocally that the practical worker inevitably comes into conflict 
with the politician. Thus, whoever works for living functioning is against politics whether he wants to be or not. 
The [318] teacher is for a rational upbringing of children; the farmer is for the machines necessary in his work; 
the scientist is for finding proof for his findings. It is easy to see that whenever a working individual takes an 
attitude against this or that achievement, he does not act in his capacity as a worker, but under the influence of 
political or other irrational motives. 

The contention that positive work achievement is never against anything, but always for something, sounds 
exaggerated. The reason for this is simple: our work life is permeated by irrational expressions of opinion which 
are not recognized as such, that is, which are not being distinguished from objective judgments. Is not the farmer 
against the industrial worker, the industrial worker against the engineer, etc.? Is not this and that physician against 
this or that drug or therapeutic method? It is argued that it is part and parcel of the democratic expression of 
opinion that one is "for" as well as "against." My contention, on the other hand, is that it was precisely this 
formalistic instead of a factual formulation of the concept of free expression of opinion which was an essential 
factor in the failure of the European democracies. 
To take an example: A physician is against a certain drug. This may be the case for one of two reasons: 
Either the drug is actually poor and the physician conscientious. In this case, the manufacturer of the drug has 
done poor work. Obviously, his work was not motivated by a strong objective interest of producing a good drug, 
but, say, by profit interests, that is, by irrational motives, for the motive does not fit the purpose. In this case our 
physician acts rationally: he acts in the interest of human health. That is, he is automatically against the poor drug 
if he fights for health. He acts rationally because the goal of his work and the motive of his expression of opinion 

Or the drug is good and the physician unscrupulous. If, now, this physician is against the good drug, he does not 
act from the motive of protecting human health, but, say, because a competing firm pays him for the propagation 
of a certain other drug. He does not fulfil his work function as a physician; the motive of his expression of 
opinion has nothing to do with its content or with [319] any work function. The physician expresses himself 
against the drug not because he is for health but because he is for profit. But profiteering is not the work function 
of a physician. Thus he expresses an opinion "against" and not "for." 

This example applies to any field of work and any kind of expression of opinion. The rational work process is, 
intrinsically, for something. The being-against is determined not by the work process itself but by the existence of 
irrational life functions. From this it follows: Any rational work process is spontaneously and intrinsically 
directed against irrational life functions. 

The attentive reader realizes that the clarification of the concept of free expression of opinion provides the 
democratic efforts with a new and better standpoint. The principle that "what is harmful to the life interest is poor 
work, that is, no work" gives the concept of work democracy a rational meaning, a meaning which formal or 
parliamentary democracy lacks. In a formal democracy, the farmer is against the industrial worker and the 
industrial worker against the engineer because the predominating interests in the social organization are political 
and not factual. If the responsibility is shifted from the politician to the work (that is, not to the worker), 
cooperation automatically takes the place of political opposition. 

This will have to be discussed further, as it is of decisive importance. But we shall remain for a moment with the 
subject of so-called democratic criticism which is also based on the democratic right of free expression of 

2. Objective criticism and irrational fault-finding. 

The work-democratic way of living requires the right of every working individual to free discussion and 
criticism. This is an absolute requirement. Without it, the sources of human productivity are apt to dry up. 

Due to the workings of the general emotional plague, however, "discussion" and "criticism" easily turn into 
more or less grave dangers to serious work. An example for illustration: 

Let us assume a mechanic who labors on a defective motor. [320] It is complicated work; the man makes every 
physical and mental effort to master the difficulty; he sacrifices his spare time and does not rest until the job is 
done. While he is at it, some man passes, watches for a while, and then throws a stone, smashing what the 
mechanic had just put together, and goes on his way. It so happened that his wife had nagged him at breakfast. 

Another man happens to pass, looks on for a while and begins to poke fun at our working man, saying that he 
does not know a thing about motors anyhow, or else he would have fixed it long ago; that he is a dirty individual, 

being all bathed in perspiration and covered with grime; that he is an immoral fellow because he leaves his family 
alone, etc. After having thus insulted our worker for some time, he goes on his way. It so happened that he had 
just received a letter from his firm firing him from his job as electrical engineer because he was no good at it. 

A third man passes, spits at our worker and goes on. His mother-in-law happened to have made a nasty scene. 

These examples are to illustrate the "criticism" on the part of accidental passersby who disturb honest work in 
the most senseless manner, work with which they never took any pains, that they even don't know and that is 
none of their business. This is the way in which, largely, that takes place which is erroneously called "free 
discussion" and "the right to criticize." Of this type was, for example, the attack of the psychiatrists and cancer 
specialists of the hereditarian school on the then still embryonic bion research. They had no intention of helping 
or of doing better: they only wanted to destroy hard work in a senseless manner. Such "criticism" is more than 
senseless; it is harmful and socially dangerous. It springs from motives which have nothing to do with the subject 
under discussion; it has nothing to do with any objective interest. 

Genuine discussion and genuine criticism is something altogether different. To illustrate with the same situation: 

Another mechanic passes the workshop of our friend. He sees at first glance, with the trained eye of the expert, 
that our worker is in a tough spot. He takes off his coat, rolls back his sleeves and sets out to comprehend the 
nature of the trouble and to find out [321] whether the mechanic has made some mistake. He shows him an 
important point which he had overlooked, and together they discuss what mistakes might have been made in the 
course of the work. He discusses and criticizes the work in order to do it better. His motive is not a nagging wife 
or a sadistic mother-in-law, not a failure in his own profession, but objective interest in the success of the job. 

The two forms of criticism sketched here are often difficult to distinguish. As a rule, the irrational fault-finding 
is skillfully hidden behind a seeming objectivity. As different as these two forms of criticism are, they are usually 
lumped together under the one concept of "scientific criticism." 

Speaking strictly in terms of science, only one kind of criticism is admissible, so-called immanent criticism; that 
is, the critic, in order to be entitled to his right to criticism, must fulfil the following prerequisites: 

1. He must himself have mastered the field of work which he criticizes; 

2. he must know it at least as well as he whom he criticizes; 

3. he must be interested in the success of the work and not in its failure. If his motives have nothing to do with 
objective interest, if he only wants to disturb the work, then he is a neurotic fault-finder and not a critic; 

4. his criticism must be done from the point of view of the field of work which is being criticized, and not from a 
point of view which is alien to the field of work in question. One cannot criticize depth psychology from the point 
of view of surface psychology, though the converse is true. The reason for this is simple. Depth psychology must 
of necessity include surface psychology in its field of work; that is, it must know it. Surface psychology, on the 
other hand, is surface psychology precisely because it does not look for the biological motives behind the psychic 

One cannot criticize an electric motor from the point of view of equipment which has the function of heating a 
room. In the electric motor, the theory of heat plays a role only insofar as it enables the electrical engineer to 
prevent overheating of the motor. As far [322] as that problem is concerned, the engineer will welcome advice 
from a physicist specializing in the heat theory. But it would be utter nonsense to blame the electric motor for not 
being able to heat a room. 

Similarly, sex-economy, which purposes to liberate the natural love life of children, adolescents and adults from 
neurosis, perversion and criminality, cannot be criticized from the point of view of antisexual moralism. For the 
moralist purposes to suppress the natural sexuality of children and adolescents and not to liberate it. A musician 
cannot criticize a miner, nor a physician a geologist. One may like or dislike a certain field of work, but such like 
or dislike does not in the least change the nature or the usefulness of the work. 

3. Work is intrinsically rational. 

The analysis of the concept of work democracy has led us into a subject which for thousands of years has been 

considered extremely important and at the same time somehow overwhelming and inaccessible. It is the 
complicated, vast subject of so-called "human nature." What philosophers, poets, vacuous politicians, but also 
great psychologists call "human nature," is absolutely identical with the sex-economic clinical concept of the 
"emotional plague." It is the sum total of all irrational life functions in the animal, man. If, now, "human nature," 
which is conceived of as unalterable, is identical with the emotional plague, and this in turn identical with the sum 
total of all irrational life functions in man; if, further, the work functions are, intrinsically and independently of 
man, rational — then we see before us two vast fields of human activity which are diametrically opposed to each 
other: vitally necessary work as rational life function, and emotional plague as irrational life function. According 
to work-democratic thinking, all politics which is not based on love, work and knowledge, and therefore is 
irrational, belongs in the field of the emotional plague. In this manner, work democracy provides a simple answer 
to the perennial question as to how to get at human nature: Education, hygiene and medicine, which always have 
been struggling with human nature with-[323]out much success, have a powerful ally against the emotional 
plague: the rational functions of vitally necessary work. 

In order to be able to follow the work-democratic train of thought it is necessary, first of all, to rid oneself 
completely of the usual political and ideological thinking. Only then is it possible to contrast the fundamentally 
different thinking which stems from the world of love, work and knowledge to that other thinking which stems 
from the world of power and might and of political and diplomatic conferences. 

The politician thinks of "state" and "nation" where the working individual lives "socially" and "sociably." The 
politician thinks of "discipline" and "order" where the working individual feels "joy in work" and "cooperation." 
The politician thinks of "morals" and "duty" where the working individual experiences, or tries to experience, 
"spontaneous decency" and "natural feeling for life." The politician talks of the "ideal of the family" where the 
working individual enjoys, or would like to enjoy, "love between man, wife and children." The politician speaks 
of the "interests of economy and the state" where the working individual wants "gratification of vital needs." The 
politician says "free enterprise" and means "profit" where the working individual wants "initiative" and "freedom 
to develop." 

The politician reigns, in an irrational manner, over the very same realms of life which the working individual 
actually masters in a rational manner, or would be able to master were he not severely hampered by the 
interference of political irrationalism. These two realms are mutually exclusive: always in the history of human 
society, natural sociality and enjoyment of work have been destroyed by authoritarian state discipline, society by 
the state, love between man, wife and children by the compulsively sacred family, natural decency by compulsive 
morality, and the working human by the politician. 

Our society is dominated by political and other irrational concepts; human work is being used for their practical 
realization. It takes workable institutions to safeguard the freedom of action and the development of vital human 
activity. Their social basis [324] cannot be some political ideology which may be changed at will, but only the 
social function of vital work as it results naturally from the interlacing of the diverse forms of vital work. 

Let us follow the work-democratic train of thought further into the tangle of the rational and the irrational life 
functions. In doing so, we must attempt to follow only the inherent logic and must exclude our personal interests 
as far as possible. If we are to arrive at a practicable conclusion we must base our thinking on the standpoint of 
work democracy itself; that is, we must act as if we really placed the responsibility for social existence on natural 
work democracy. We must examine it from all sides as to its practicability; that is, we must think in factual terms. 
If, instead, we were to let any personal interest in some unnecessary activity have a decisive influence, we would 
automatically exclude ourselves from the framework of this discussion. 

If there were nothing but the emotional plague in its various forms, humanity would have perished long ago. 
Neither political ideologies nor mystical rituals, military power or diplomatic talks could, by themselves, supply 
the population of a country with victuals even for an hour, or maintain traffic, provide dwellings or education, 
cure disease, discover scientific truths, etc. In the thinking of work democracy, political ideologies, mystical 
rituals and diplomatic manoeuvres play a role only as part of the general social irrationalism. They are 

unnecessary in the factual realm of life which is governed by love, work and knowledge alone. These vital 
functions follow their own inherent laws which are inaccessible to any irrational ideology. Love, work and 
knowledge are not "ideas," not "political programs," not "sentiments" or "creeds." They are tangible realities 
without which human society could not exist for a single day. 

If human society were organized rationally, love, work and knowledge would, as a matter of course, take 
precedence over the institutions which are not vitally necessary. True, there still might be groups of people who 
would arm themselves and slay each other; other groups who would enjoy mystical rituals; and still other groups 
who would delight in the discussion of ideolo-[325]gies. But they would no longer be able to govern the basic 
biological functions of society, to exploit them and to utilize them for their own purposes and to deprive them of 
any decisive influence. 

The social irrationalism in the attitude toward these two realms of human activity is tremendous: 
A politician is in a position to mislead millions of people with promises of giving them freedom without really 
having to do so. Nobody asks for proof of his competence or of the practicability of his promises. From one day 
to the other, he can change his promises into the exact opposite. Nobody keeps a mystic from instilling in the 
masses a belief in a life hereafter; nobody demands proof for his contention. 
Let us apply the prerogatives of the politician or the mystic to a railroad manager. If he were to give people who 
want to be taken from one town to another a long talk about his ability to fly to the moon, he would immediately 
land in prison or a mental hospital. Imagine further that this railroad manager were to demand belief in the truth 
of his claim, at pistol point, or were to imprison the waiting passengers for refusing to believe him. If the railroad 
manager wishes to remain a railroad manager, he must actually and without danger transport the people from one 
place to the other. 

It is entirely immaterial whether a contractor, a physician, teacher or carpenter is a Fascist, Liberal or Christian 
Socialist when it comes to building a schoolhouse, taking care of sick people, teaching children or making a 
cabinet. None of these workers can engage in orations or in making promises instead of doing practical, tangible 
work, instead of building a foundation, of putting brick on brick, or without having given thought to such things 
as how many rooms the schoolhouse is to have, where the exits are to be, where the administration, the kitchen, 
etc. No one who does practical work can do his job by means of ideologies, be they liberal, social-democratic, 
religious, fascist or communist. No worker can allow himself to engage in idle chatter. He has to know his job 
and must work. An ideologist, on the other hand, can go on making the same promises, no matter how thoroughly 
[326] he may have proved himself incapable of fulfilling them. Long after a group of politicians are all through in 
one country, they continue their old ideological debates in some other far-away country, without any contact with 
actual happenings. There would be no objection to that if they were content with the satisfaction derived from 
their debating; if they did not try to impose their ideologies on others or even to shape the fate of nations. 

One day I tried to test this work-democratic system of thought as it applied to my own case and found the 
following: I would only have confirmed the diagnosis of schizophrenia made by some overzealous 
psychoanalysts and would have landed in a mental institution if, in 1933, when I hypothetically assumed the 
existence of a universal biological energy, I had vociferously claimed that such an energy actually existed, that it 
could eliminate cancer tumors and that, in addition, it had to do with the problem of gravity. On the basis of my 
biological research, I could have promulgated any number of ideologies. I could have founded a political party, 
say, a "work-democratic freedom party," much more easily than others founded parties with less practical issues. 
On the basis of my influence on people, I could have surrounded myself with bodyguards and could have given 
thousands of people work-democratic insignia. 

Yet, all this would not have brought me one iota closer to the problem of cancer or the comprehension of the 
cosmic or oceanic feelings of the animal, man. True, I would have founded an ideology of work democracy, but 
the naturally existent and hitherto overlooked process of work democracy would have remained undiscovered. 
Before I succeeded in discovering the orgone and in concentrating it in accumulators, before I could make it 
visible and usable, I had to work hard for years, had to master my irrationalism as best I could, had to learn to 

understand why biology is mechanistic and mystical at the same time, had to study books, to dissect mice, to treat 
diverse substances in hundreds of different ways, etc. Only after all this had been done could I ask myself — in the 
framework of the organic development of the work process — the practical question whether the orgone had any 
cura-[327]tive properties. All this means that every kind of vitally necessary and practical work has a rational, 
organic development which proceeds in logical steps which one cannot jump by any means whatsoever. This is 
the basic biological law of "organic development." A tree has to grow one foot high before it can grow two feet 
high. A child must learn to read before it can absorb the printed opinion of others. A physician must study 
anatomy before he can understand pathology. In all these cases, the development is determined by the growth of 
the work process. The working individual is a functioning organ of work. He may be a well or a poorly 
functioning organ; that does not change the work process itself. Whether this or that individual is a well or a 
poorly functioning organ depends primarily on how little or how much irrationalism there is in his structure. 

This "law of organic development" is characteristically absent in irrational functions. Here, the goal is there, 
ready-made and finished, long before a finger is lifted in practical work. The activity follows a preconceived idea 
and is, therefore, irrational. This is shown clearly in the fact that of all the world-famous irrationalists literally 
nothing remains which would be tangible and could be used in any way by posterity. 

On the other hand, the continuity, over thousands of years, of technic and science, clearly shows the law of 
organic development. Galileo's achievement derived from the criticism of the Ptolemaic system and continued the 
work of Copernicus. This was continued by Newton and Kepler. Every one of these functioning organs of 
objective natural processes gave rise to the development of generations of working and searching people. In 
contrast, there is nothing left of Alexander the Great, so-called, of Caesar, Nero or Napoleon. Furthermore, there 
is not the least continuity between the successive irrationalists, unless one were to take Napoleon's dream of 
becoming a second Alexander or Caesar as such a continuity. 

Here, irrationalism discloses itself completely as a life function which is not only non-biological and non- social, 
but antibiological and antisocial. It lacks the essential characteristics of the rational [328] life function, such as 
germination, development, continuity, interlacing with other functions, and productivity. 

Let us apply these insights to the question whether, in principle, the emotional plague can be mastered. The 
answer is, Yes. No matter how sadistic, mystical, gossiping, unscrupulous, armored and superficial people may 
be, in their work function they are, of nature, forced to be rational. Just as irrationalism works and reproduces 
itself in ideologies and mysticisms, so is human rationality at work and reproduces itself in the work process. It is 
inherent in the work process, and, therefore, in man in his work function, that they cannot be irrational, they must 
be rational. Irrationalism excludes itself automatically here by the fact that it disturbs the work process and makes 
the goal of work unattainable. The sharp and irreconcilable clash between emotional plague and work process 
expresses itself clearly in the following: As a worker, one can always make oneself easily understood in a 
discussion of work functions with any technician, physician or industrial worker. As soon as the discussion shifts 
to ideologies, however, the understanding comes to an end. Characteristically, most dictators and politicians give 
up their work when they enter politics. A shoemaker who would fall into a mystical trance and would believe 
himself to be a God-sent savior of humanity, would inevitably cut his soles the wrong way, generally mess up his 
work and would finally starve. A politician, on the other hand, becomes potent and rich just in this way. 

Irrationalism, then, can only disturb work, and can never do any work. 

Let us examine this work-democratic thought from the standpoint of work democracy itself: is it a matter of an 
ideology, of a glorification or idealization of "work"? I had to ask myself this question in view of my job of 
teaching physicians and teachers. To distinguish necessary, rational work from unnecessary, irrational ideology is 
an indispensable prerequisite for my work as physician, research worker and teacher. I cannot help a student in 
vegeto therapy over a practical difficulty in his own structure [329] or in a therapeutic situation with his patient by 
holding out hopes for a life hereafter, or by appointing him "Marshal of Vegeto therapy." Such title would not give 
him an iota of ability to master actual difficulties; more than that, it would only endanger him. I have to tell him 
the whole truth about his faults and errors. I have to teach him to find them for himself. In doing so, I am 

dependent on my own development and my practical experiences. I do not have the ideology that, for ethical or 
other reasons, I have to be rational. My rational behavior is enforced on me by my work. I would starve if I did 
not try to be rational. My work corrects me as soon as I develop any inclination to escape difficulties with 
illusions; for with illusions I cannot, say, eliminate a biopathic paralysis any more than a mechanic, a builder, a 
farmer or a teacher can do his work with illusions. Nor do I demand rationality. It exists in me, independent of 
myself and the emotional plague in me. I do not ask the student to be rational for that would do no good. But I 
educate him, in his own interest, to differentiate in himself and in the world the rational and the irrational as they 
show themselves in practical work functions; and to further the rational and inhibit the irrational. The emotional 
plague in social life is characterized by the flight from the responsibilities and the actualities of everyday living 
and of work into illusions, into mysticism, into indecency or the political party. 
We are dealing here with a fundamentally new finding. Not the rationality of work is new, nor its rational effect 
on the working individual. What is new is the finding that it exists by itself whether I know it or not. It is better if 
I know it. For then I can become one with rational organic development. This finding is new in psychology as 
well as in sociology; in sociology because sociology has hitherto considered rational the irrational social 
activities, and in psychology because psychology did not doubt the rationality of society. 

4. Vitally necessary work and other work. 

The more deeply one penetrates into the nature of work [330] democracy, the more disaster one discovers 
caused in human thinking by political ideologies. Let us try to substantiate this contention by examining the 
concept of work. 

We have contrasted work to political ideology and have equated work with "rationality," political ideology with 
"irrationality." But life is not mechanical. We catch ourselves having introduced another irrational black — white 
characterization. This sharp antithesis was justified inasfar as indeed politics is essentially irrational and work 
essentially rational. Now, is, for example, the construction of a gambling palace work or not? This example 
shows the necessity of clearly distinguishing vitally necessary work from other work. "Vitally necessary work" 
comprises every kind of work which is necessary for the maintenance of human life and of the social machinery. 
That is, any kind of work the absence of which would damage or inhibit the life process. Any work, on the other 
hand, the absence of which would not change the course of society and of human life is not vitally necessary. Non- 
work is any activity which harms the life process. 

Through many centuries, the political ideology of the ruling but non-working classes was one of contempt for 
the vitally necessary work while non-work was considered a mark of nobility. The socialist ideologies reacted to 
this with a mechanically rigid reversal of the evaluation of work: To them, "work" was limited precisely to those 
activities which in feudalism were treated with contempt, that is, manual work. On the other hand, they 
considered any activity within the ruling classes as "non-work." True, this mechanistic reversal of ideological 
evaluation was entirely in keeping with the political concept of the two sharply separated classes, the ruling and 
the ruled. True, from a purely economic point of view, society actually could be divided in the "owners of capital" 
and the "owners of the commodity, working power." But from the standpoint of biosociology no sharp lines can 
be drawn between classes, neither ideologically nor psychologically, let alone with regard to work. It was the 
discovery of the fact that the ideology of a group of people does not necessarily correspond to their economic 
position but that there is often a [331] sharp divergency between ideological and economic position which made 
an understanding of the fascist movement first possible. Around 1930 it became clear that a divergency exists 
between ideology and economy, and that the ideology of a group may, independent of the social class position, 
develop into a social power. 

There are basic biological functions which have nothing to do with economic class distinctions; they transcend 
and overlap class boundaries. This was first shown with regard to the suppression of the natural love life in 
children and adolescents. The suppression of the love life occurs in all classes and strata of every patriarchal 
society; more than that, it is often much more pronounced in the ruling classes than in the ruled. Sex-economic 

investigation even demonstrated the fact that a great deal of the sadism employed by the ruling class in the 
suppression and exploitation of other classes derives from suppressed sexuality. The connection between sadism, 
sex suppression and class suppression is well portrayed in De Coster's famous "Till Ulenspiegel." 

The actual social functions of work also cut across and overlap the political-ideological class boundaries. In the 
socialist parties one used to find many leading politicians who had never done any vitally necessary work and 
knew nothing of the work process. It was a customary thing for a worker to give up his work when he advanced 
to the position of political functionary. On the other hand, the classes which political socialism called the "ruling, 
non-working" classes as distinguished from the workers, contained many important working bodies. Hardly 
anything demonstrates better the unrealistic character of the typical political ideologies than the fact that the 
guiding spirits of the political reaction in Austria, e.g., came from the Technical University. Nobody will deny 
that engineers represent vitally necessary work; these people built locomotives, airplanes, bridges, etc. 

Let us apply this work-democratic critique to the concept of the "capitalist." In political ideology, the capitalist 
was either "the leader of industry" or "the non-working parasite." Both concepts were mechanistic, ideological, 
political, illusionary, and therefore [332] unscientific. For there are working and non-working capitalists. There 
are capitalists whose work is vitally necessary, and others whose work is unnecessary. It is irrelevant here to 
which political wing or ideology this or that capitalist may adhere. The antithesis of work and politics applies to 
the capitalist as it does to the wage earner. As a bricklayer can be a Fascist, so can a capitalist be a Socialist. 

We have arrived at the standpoint now that an orientation in the political chaos is not possible on the basis of 
political ideologies. The thinking of work democracy, on the other hand, is oriented by work and thus provides 
the means of a concrete orientation. On the basis of this, the political class of capitalists consists, with regard to 
vital work, of two opposite and even antagonistic groups: that of capitalists who themselves work, plan and 
produce, and that of the capitalists who do not work or plan but let others work for their profit. A Henry Ford, for 
example, may have this or that political concept, he may ideologically be an angel or a devil. This does not alter 
the fact that he was the first American builder of automobiles to change the technical face of America completely. 
Edison, as far as his political ideology went, was undoubtedly a capitalist; but where is the political workers' 
functionary who would not use Edison's incandescent bulb or who would dare state publicly that Edison was a 
non-working parasite of society? The same thing applies, from the standpoint of work democracy, to the brothers 
Wright, to Junkers, Reichert or Zeiss; one could exemplify indefinitely. On the opposite side of these personally 
and factually working capitalists are the actually non- working and only profiteering capital owners. With regard 
to their work function, they do not form any special class type, for they are, in principle, identical with any party 
bureaucrat who, from his desk, determines "the politics of the working class." We have experienced the 
catastrophic influence of the non-working capital owners and the non-working political workers' functionaries to 
a sufficient degree to seek our orientation no longer in ideological concepts but in practical activities. 

The introduction of the standpoint of vitally necessary work [333] leads to a revision of many well-established 
concepts of politics and the "political sciences." The concept of "the worker" must be extended. The concept of 
the economic classes is supplemented by that of human structure; this reduces the social significance of the 
concept of the economic classes to a considerable degree. 

In the following pages I shall present the most important changes of concepts which were necessitated by the 
basically new social events as well as by the discovery of natural work democracy. I am well aware of the fact 
that the presentation of these changes will cause many a political ideologist to raise vociferous and dignified 
objections. This will in no way alter the reality of the facts and processes described. No political persecution, no 
execution of hundreds of "-ists" will change the fact that a physician, technician, teacher or farmer in America, 
India, Germany or wherever, does vitally necessary work and does infinitely more for the life process than the 
whole Comintern has done ever since 1923. The dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 has changed nothing in the 
life of people. But imagine that in China or America all teachers, or physicians, or builders, were to be suddenly 
excluded from the social process! 

The history of the past 20 years shows beyond any doubt that such party ideologies as the "abolition of class 

distinctions," the "establishment of the common weal," the "defense of freedom and decency" have by no means 
diminished the class distinctions, the disruption of social living or the suppression of freedom and decency. On 
the contrary, they have intensified these problems to a catastrophic degree. The scientific solution of the social 
tragedy of the animal, man, then, must begin by correcting or eliminating those party-political concepts which 
have made the disruption of human society a permanent phenomenon. 

Work democracy does not restrict the concept of "worker" to the industrial worker. It calls a worker everyone 
who does socially necessary work. The political-ideological concept of a "workers' class," restricted to the 
industrial worker, drove a wedge between the industrial worker and the technician or educator, between the 
representatives of various vitally necessary work processes. This [334] ideology even designated the professions 
of medicine or teaching as "servants of the bourgeoisie" as compared with the "revolutionary proletariat." To this 
not only the physicians and teachers objected, but the industrial workers as well. Understandably enough, for the 
factual connection and cooperation between the physician of an industrial town and the workers is much more 
real and earnest than that between the workers and the political functionaries. Cooperation in work and the 
interlacing of the various branches of necessary work are natural phenomena and are based on natural interests. 
For this reason, only these factors, and nothing else, can counteract the political disruption of society. Of course, 
when a necessary worker's group, such as industrial workers, degrades another, equally necessary group, such as 
physicians, technicians or teachers, to "servants" while it promotes itself to be the "master," then the physicians, 
technicians and teachers take flight into the ideology of the racial Ubermensch, because they do not want to be 
servants, of the "revolutionary proletariat" or of anybody else. The "revolutionary proletariat," on the other hand, 
takes flight into the political party or the trade union, organizations which do not place any responsibility on them 
but who, instead, instill in them the illusion of being the "leading class." This does not alter the fact that this 
"leading class," as it has amply proven, is incapable of actually assuming social responsibility, or the fact that it 
engages in race hatred, as in America where unions of white workers exclude colored workers from membership. 

All these things are the results of well-established party-ideological concepts which smother the communion 
established by work. For this reason, only and alone the concept of the worker who does vitally necessary work 
can overcome the social disruption and can bring the social institutions into harmony with the organizations of 
necessary work. 

It can be safely predicted that the clarification of these concepts will displease the party ideologists. It can also 
be safely predicted that the attitude toward this clarification of concepts will automatically and cleanly separate 
the ideological chaff from the practical wheat. Those who will affirm and represent the natural [335] work 
community based on the interlacing of all necessary branches of work will show themselves to be practical wheat. 
Those, on the other hand, to whom party ideologies and concepts — though they undermine our society — are more 
important than the community of the working people, will object with much empty noise and thus show 
themselves to be chaff. But the clarification of these concepts will meet the naturally existent knowledge of these 
facts, and, with that, the demand for arranging social living in accordance with the interdependence of all 
branches of work. 

In this discussion of the concept of "the worker" I have simply followed the logic of work-democratic thinking. I 
had to arrive at the described result, whether I wanted to or not; it lies in the course of the work itself. Just at the 
time when I wrote these pages, I had to procure various painted signs for Orgonon. Since I am not a carpenter, I 
could not make the signs; since I am not a painter, I could not paint or letter them properly. But the planning of 
the laboratories required the signs. Thus I had to go and see a carpenter and a painter and to discuss with them, on 
an equal footing, how the signs should be made and lettered; without their practical experience I could not have 
gone ahead. It was entirely irrelevant whether or not I felt myself to be a learned scientist or researcher; it was 
equally irrelevant whether the carpenter or the painter had this or that "idea" about fascism. The carpenter could 
not talk to me as a "servant of the revolutionary proletariat," nor could the painter look upon me as a superfluous 
"intellectual." The work process itself forced us to exchange knowledge and experience. The painter, e.g., if he 
were not to do a poor and mechanical job, had to understand the symbol of our functional research method; he 

became highly enthusiastic about the job when he understood its meaning. I, on my part, learned from the 
carpenter and the painter a good deal about how signs should be made so that they properly expressed the 
function of the Institute. This example of the factual and rational interlacing of work branches is clear enough to 
illustrate the abysmal irrationalism which governs the formation of public opinion and which completely 
overlooks the natural work process. [336] The more concretely I saw my work interlaced with other branches of 
work, the better did I understand the rational world of work-democratic thought. Clearly, the work proceeded well 
when I let myself be informed by the microscope maker and the electrical engineer, and when they in turn learned 
from me the function of a lens or of an electrical apparatus in the special set-up of orgone-physical research. 
Without the lens grinder and the electrician I could not have made a single step in my orgone research. On the 
other hand, the lens grinder and the electrician struggle with unresolved difficulties of the theory of light and of 
electricity, some of which may well be clarified by the discovery of the orgone. 

I have presented this matter-of-course fact of the interlacing of work processes purposely in quite a primitive 
manner and at some length because I have convinced myself that these facts, as simple as they are, seem 
nevertheless foreign and new to working individuals. This sounds incredible, but it is true and even 
understandable: the fact of the natural interlacing and interdependence of all work processes is not clearly and 
simply represented in the thinking and feeling of working people. True, every working individual knows of this 
interdependence purely practically and automatically on the basis of his work; but it sounds strange to him when 
he is told that society would not be able to exist without his work, or that he is responsible for the social 
organization of his work. This gap between vital activity and the consciousness of the responsibility for it was 
created and is maintained by the political system of ideologies which splits the working individual into two 
organisms: one which works practically and another which entertains irrational sentiments. This contention also 
sounds strange. Its correctness becomes evident, however, as soon as one studies any daily paper, anywhere in the 
world. One will find that the processes of love, work and knowledge, their vital necessity, their interlacing, their 
rationality, their earnestness, are only rarely mentioned, accidentally, as it were. On the other hand, the daily 
papers are full of high politics, diplomacy, military and formal events which in no way touch the real everyday 
life proc-[337]ess. In this manner, the average worker develops the feeling that he really means very little, 
compared with the complicated, "intelligent," and high-flung debates of such things as high diplomacy, strategy 
or tactics. He feels himself small, inadequate, superfluous, as if he were an accident in life. This mass- 
psychological contention can easily be put to a test. I have done so many times and have always arrived at the 
same result: 

a) Some worker has a good idea and invents an improvement in his work process. We ask him to put his 
discovery down in writing so that it can be published. This request evokes a peculiar reaction: it is as if the 
worker, though his work is important and indispensable, crawled back into himself. It is as if he said (and often he 
does say, in so many words), "Who am I to write an article? My work doesn't count." This attitude of the worker 
toward his work is a typical, mass-psychological phenomenon. I have presented it in a simplified manner, but this 
illustration presents its essence, as anybody can convince himself. 

b) Now let us approach the editor of a daily newspaper. We suggest to him that he reduce the space given to 
formal questions of high politics, diplomacy, strategy and tactics to two back pages; and that he devote the front 
part of the paper to daily, extensive articles on practical everyday questions of technic, medicine, education, 
agriculture, industrial work, etc. He will look at us in utter perplexity and will doubt our sanity. 

These briefly formulated basic attitudes of the mass individual (a) and the manufacturer of public opinion (b) 
complement and condition each other. Public opinion is essentially of a political nature and thinks little of the 
everyday life of love, work and knowledge. To this corresponds the feeling of the loving, working and knowing 
individual that he amounts to nothing in the social process. 

It goes without saying that a rational reorganization of social conditions is inconceivable as long as political 
irrationalism has a 99% part in the formation of public opinion and the basic functions of social life only 1 %. The 
reverse proportion is the minimal requirement if political irrationalism is to be deprived of power [338] and the 

self-determination of society is to be established. In other words, the factual life process must express itself also, 
unequivocally, in the organs of publication and in the forms of social life, and must become identical with them. 
In this clarification and correction of political concepts we meet a difficult objection. It is this: It is impossible 
simply to eliminate political ideologies, for the workers, farmers, technicians, etc., determine the course of society 
not only by their necessary work but also by their political ideologies. The peasants' wars of the Middle Ages 
were political revolts which changed society; the communist party in Russia has changed the face of Russia. 
Furthermore, it is argued, one cannot prevent or prohibit political ideologies. They are a human need and have a 
social effect as do love, work and knowledge. To this we would say: 

1. Work democracy does not wish to prevent or prohibit anything. Its only intention is the fulfilment of the 
biological life functions, of love, work and knowledge. If it is aided in this by this or that political ideology, it will 
only be furthered. If, however, a political ideology blocks its way with irrational demands and contentions, so that 
the basic biosocial functions cannot operate, then work democracy will act as a lumberman will act when he is 
about to fell a tree and is attacked by a rattlesnake. He will kill the rattlesnake in order to be able to continue his 
work. He will not stop felling trees because there are rattlesnakes in the woods. 

2. It is true that political ideologies and illusions are also actually active social facts and that they cannot be 
prohibited or talked away. The standpoint of work democracy toward this fact is this: That this is so is precisely a 
major part of the tragedy of the animal, man. The fact that political ideologies are tangible, active realities does 
not prove their necessity. The bubonic plague was an extremely potent social reality. But nobody would have 
argued that, because it existed, it was necessary and nothing should be done about it. A human settlement in the 
wilderness is a necessary and tangible social fact; but so are floods. Who would equate the destructive floods and 
the building of houses, [339] merely because both have social effects? It was precisely the failure to distinguish 
work and politics, reality and illusion, and the fallacy of considering politics a rational human activity like, say, 
building or sowing, which made it possible for a housepainter to bring the world to the verge of disaster. It is an 
essential part of our social tragedy that people, like farmers, the industrial workers, the medical profession, etc., 
influence the social process not only by their work, but also — and even predominantly — by political ideologies. 
For political activity hampers objective, rational activity; it splits professional organizations into warring 
ideological groups; it disorganizes the industrial workers: it restricts the work of the physician and harms the 
patients, etc. In brief, political activity prevents precisely what it pretends to achieve: peace, work, security, 
international cooperation, objective expression of opinion, freedom of belief, etc. 

3. It is true that political parties occasionally transform the aspect of society. But from the standpoint of work 
democracy we contend that if this happens it is a makeshift. Karl Marx, at a time when he set out to criticize 
political economy, was not a politician or party man, but a scientific economist and sociologist. It was precisely 
the emotional plague in the masses which caused him not to be heard, which caused him to become poor and 
miserable, and which forced him to found a political organization, the famous "Kommunistenbund" which he 
himself soon dissolved. It was the emotional plague which turned Marxian science into party-political Marxism 
which no longer had anything to do with Marx's scientific sociology and which is in no small part responsible for 
fascism. Marx knew what he was talking about when he said he was "not a Marxist." He would not have chosen 
to found a political organization if rational, instead of irrational, thinking were predominant in the human masses. 
True, the political machinery is often a necessity, but it is a makeshift made necessary by human irrationalism. If 
work were identical with the social ideology, if needs, gratification of needs and means of gratifying them were 
identical with the human structure, then there would be no politics, because then it would be superfluous. If one 
does [340] not have a house, one may live in a cave. It may be a good or a poor cave, but it is no house. The goal 
remains a decent house and not a cave, even if for a time one is forced to live in a cave. The politicians have 
forgotten what was the goal of the founders of socialism: the abolition of politics and the kind of state which 
stemmed from it. It is painful to be reminded of this fact. It takes too much thinking, honesty, knowledge and self- 
criticism if a physician is to see his main goal in the prevention of the very diseases from the treatment of which 
he makes a living. We will have to regard that politician an objective, rational sociologist who helps society to 

realize the irrational basis of politics and of its "necessity" so thoroughly that any kind of politics becomes 

This work-democratic criticism of politics does not stand alone. In America, the hatred of politiciandom and the 
insight into its social harmfulness is quite general. One hears from the Soviet Union that there the technician 
gains more and more the upper-hand of the politician. Possibly, even the executions of leading Russian politicians 
by other politicians had a hidden rational meaning, as much as such executions are an expression of political 
irrationalism and sadism. 

For a decade, the politics of the European dictators was unrivalled. In order to comprehend the essence of 
politics, one only has to remember that it was a Hitler who, for many years, was able to keep the world breathless. 
Hitler as a political genius was a magnificent unmasking of the essence of politics in general. With Hitler, politics 
reached the peak of its development. We know what were its fruits and what was the reaction of the world. In 
brief, I believe that the twentieth century, with its gigantic catastrophes, ushers in a new social era, an era free of 
politics. It remains to be seen what part politics will play in the eradication of the political emotional plague and 
what part the consciously organized functions of love, work and knowledge. 




collectivization, 41 , 280 

"New Order of Ownership," 4 Iff . 
Ambivalence toward authority, 3 Of . 
Animal, man, 286ff . 
Anarchists, 196f. 

Anchoring of economic process in 

human structure, 13f . 
Antisemitism, 50, 69ff. 
Aryans, 64ff. 
Authoritarian family, 24f. 

ideology, 28ff . 

sex-economic basis, 88ff . 
Authoritarian state apparatus, 229ff. 

"Being-against," 317ff . 
Biological core, vii f . 
Biological rigidity, 271, 275, 283ff., 

293, 301 

Biopathic character structure, 274f . 
Biopathies, 164 
Biophysical functionalism, xxi 
Biopsychic structure, vii 
"Blood and soil," 4 Iff . 
BLUHER, 77n., 78 
"Bolshevism," 109 
"Bourgeois," xx f . 
BRAUMAN, 106ff. 

"Capitalist," 33 If . 

before and after Hitler, 99ff . 
"Class consciousness," xx, 2, 7, 250 
Criticism, immanent, 321 
"Culture," 23f. 

"decline of," 72, 77 

DARWIN, 65, 271, 294 
"Dictatorship of the proletariat," 

20 Iff . 
DISNEY, 288 

Economic base and ideology, Iff. 

see also Retroaction of ideology 
ENGELS, xxi, 3f., 60, 73n., 88, 179, 
190 , 203ff., 232f . 

Family, authoritarian 

see Authoritarian family 
Family fixation 

and nationalistic feeling, 40ff. 
Fascism, definition, ixff. 
Fascist ideology and mysticism, 97ff. 
Fascist mentality and "little man," xi 
Fear of responsible freedom, 192ff ., 


Formal democracy, 221_f., 277 , 298ff . 

Freedom, 269ff ., 296f ., 305 

and sexual health, 297 
FREUD, xix, 20ff-, 48n., 49n., 198, 

and Marx, xix, 23 

cultural philosophy, 23 

fixation, 61, 68 

identification, 68 

ideology, 28ff., 201 

structure and mass structure, 29 
Functional thinking, 308 

see also Biophysical functionalism 



"God," 129, 131 
GOEBBELS, 48, 50 
GORING, 28, 36 
Gratification without guilt, 126 

HINOY, 229 

HITLER, 28ff., 30ff-, 51, 64ff., 193f „ 

221 , 223 , 241 , 340 
Hitlerism, xyiii, 300 
Homosexuality, 140 
"Honor and duty," 44, 47 
HUTTEN, KURT, 119f . 
"Human nature," 322 


with the Fiihrer, 53 
with state authority, 39f. 
Ideology, objective and subjective 

functions, 67ff. 
Ideology and economic situation, 

Iff., 39ff. 
Incapacity for freedom, 186ff ., 213 , 

283ff ., 298f. 
"Incest," 66 

Internationalism, 193ff . 


"Kulturbolschewismus," 102ff ., 120 
KUNIK, 7n. 

Law of organic development, 327 
LENIN, 3, 19, 26, 109, 179, 182, 

189f ., 20 Iff ., 224, 227, 280 
LENZ, 7n. 
Liberalism, viii 
Living working power, 244 
Love, work and knowledge, xii, 

315f., 324 


MALINOWSKI, 73n., 204n . 
MANN, ERNST, 46n. 
Man and machine, 287ff . 
MARX, xix, Iff., 56, 1J0, 172, 179, 

190 , 192f ., 197 , 203 , 244 , 293 , 


and Freud, xix, 23 
Marxism, xviif., Iff., 31ff, 339 

see also Vulgar Marxism 
Marxist parties, xvff, xxii ff . 
Mass psychology, L2, 14ff . 

and socio-economics, 16 
Mass structure and state form, 242f. 
Matriarchy, 73ff, U8, 125 
Mechanistic concept of life, 287ff . 
MEHNERT, 260f. 
Middle classes, 30, 33ff. 

"Morals," 156 
Mother fixation, 48, 116 
Motherhood vs. sexuality, 89ff . 
MORGAN, 73n., 88, 203 
Mystical feeling 

anchoring, 13 Off . 

and nationalistic ideology, 11 Iff . 

and sexual happiness, 15 If . 

individual eradication, 153ff. 
Mysticism, 97ff„ 295 

and race theory, 68ff . 

and science, 102 , 145ff . 

function of, 106f. 

"National honor," 47 

and religion, 100 
Nationalistic self-confidence, 52ff., 

National Socialism, 28ff., 47, 195 
Negro, 85 
"Nordic," 73 

Objective criticism and irrational 

fault-finding, 319ff . 
Oedipus complex, xv, 2J_, 48n., 49n. 


Organization, 305 

impotence, 116f . 

longing, 116f . 
Orgone, 288, 290, 308f. 
Orgone Institute, 276ff. 
Original sin, 100 

Patriarchy, 73ff., 118, 292 
Patriotism, 225ff. 
Peasantry, 5 If ., 55 

Pleasure anxiety, 127, 130 
Politics, 180ff., 340 
Political party systems, 316 

Politician, 175f ., 181 , 3 Off , 323 , 

Political psychology, 12 
Political systems, 266 
Power and truth, 279ff . 
Praying, compulsive, 13 Iff . 
"Private enterprise," xxi 
Professionally conscious worker, 53f. 
"Proletarian," xx f . 
Proletariat, 60 
Psychoanalysis, 21, 23, 124 
Psychoanalytic sociology, 22 
Public opinion, 337 

Race theory, xff., 63ff. 

its irrational functions, 66ff. 
"Radical," x, 4 

Reactionary propaganda, 28ff . 97ff 

and sexual anxiety, 13 Off . 

and state, lOln. 

masochistic, sadistic, xi, 100 
Religions, patriarchal, 125 , 127 
Religious feeling, three basic ele- 
ments, 123_ff. 
Retroaction of ideology on the eco- 
nomic base, 7, 13f., 26 
"Revolutionary," xix 
ROEHM, 77n. 

ROSENBERG, 11, 69ff., 99ff. 

Sadism, 295 
SALKIND, 4, 90,105 
Science and mysticism, 122ff . 
Self-confidence, 143f. 

see also Nationalistic self-confi- 

Self-perception, 295 

Sex affirmation, 160ff . 

Sexpol, xivn., 105 

"Sexualbolschewismus," 25 

Sexual chaos, 50, 94 

Sexual suppression, social function 

of, 19ff., 184 
Sexuality, infantile and adolescent, 
75, 106ff., 130ff., 166ff., 303 

mass hygiene, 160ff. 

sociology, 23 
Sex-economy, 20 

in the fight against mysticism, 
122ff . 

"Socialization" and "nationalization," 
xxi f . 

Social Democracy, 59ff., 197f . 

"Socialism," 193 

"Socialist longing," 192ff. 

Social process and sociological in- 
sight, 181 

Social self-regulation, 202ff . 
responsibility, 172ff . 

"Social question" vs. "sexual ques- 
tion," 157ff . 

STAKANOV, 259f. 

STALIN, 182, 193f., 203, 223f., 241, 

STAPEL, WILHELM, 28, 69, 99 

and society, xxi , 23 Iff ., 280 

State — ( Continued) 
and the masses, 175ff. 
capitalism, xxii , 237ff. 
"withering away," 192f ., 203ff., 

"Subjective factor in history," 3, llf ., 


Swastika, 83ff . 

Technical progress 

and chauvinism, 227f . 

and cultural development, 228 

TOLISCHUS, OTTO D., 112, 116 
"Tradition," 14, 16 
Truth and power, 279ff . 

"Unconscious" (Freud), vii f. 
Unpolitical individual, 172ff . 

Verlag fur Sexualpolitik, xiv n ., xyi 
Vitally necessary work, xx, 264ff . 
Vulgar Marxism, xxi f ., 5ff ., 10ff . 
see also Marxism 


ideology, 257f., 306n. 
mass-psychological basis, 17f . 
Wars, 271 

Woman, role in authoritarian family, 

Work, 243ff . 

and politics, 249, 312ff . 

and sexuality, 250ff. 

biosocial functions, 243ff. 

consciousness, xx, 54, 250 

is intrinsically rational, 322ff. 

process and irrationalism, 328ff . 

self-regulation, 248 

vitally necessary and other work, 
264ff ., 329ff . 
Work democracy, xyiii, 207 , 264ff., 
303ff . 

and politics, 247, 249, 31 Off . 
"Worker," xyiii, 333f.